Gennaro Contaldo’s limoncello
- December 2021
- Makes Around 1.25 litres
- Hands-on time 30 min, plus 17 days infusing and maturing
Gennaro Contaldo shares his recipe for traditional limoncello, made with the zest of Amalfi lemons. Serve cold or use in desserts.
Recipe from Gennaro’s latest book, Limoni (Pavilion £20), out now. Photo: David Loftus.
- Dairy-free recipes
- Gluten-free recipes
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- 16g (16g sugars)
- 3 unwaxed lemons (use organic lemons if you can, preferably from Amalfi)
- 500ml pure grain alcohol (see Know How)
- 750ml water
- 400g sugar
You’ll also need
- Glass bottle(s) with at least 1.25 litres total capacity, sterilised
- Wash the lemons in cold water and dry well. Use a peeler to pare off the rind, avoiding the white pith. Put the rind in a large jar, pour over the alcohol and seal – it should be airtight. Set in a cool, dry place for 7 days.
- Seven days later, put the water in a pan and bring to the boil. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Remove the syrup from the heat and allow to cool.
- Open the jar and strain the alcohol through a sieve into a large jug, discarding the peel. Add the alcohol to the sugar syrup and mix well. Pour into clean, dry bottles. Seal and store in a cool, dark place for at least 10 days.
Don’t waste it: You’ll only need the zest from the lemons for this – squeeze the juice and freeze in ice trays to use another time.
The limoncello will keep in a cool dark cupboard for several months. Store in the fridge once opened and drink within 2-3 weeks.
Discover how to sterilise jars (and bottles) with our handy guide.
You can find pure grain alcohol (grain neutral spirit) at masterofmalt.co.uk or ask at your Italian deli. The recipe will also work with strong vodka (look for 50% abv).
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