Homemade limoncello

Homemade limoncello
  • Serves icon Makes 1 litre
  • Time icon Takes 10 min to make, plus 2 weeks’ infusing, 10 days’ macerating and freezing

Want to make your own limoncello? Then here’s how – get ready to delight a loved one by giving it as a gift or keep it in the freezer for impromptu after-dinner digestif. It needs a few weeks to macerate and infuse, so make sure you start it in good time.

We also have a clemencello recipe made with clementines.


  • 6 large lemons (unwaxed if possible)
  • 750ml bottle 100% proof vodka
  • 200g granulated sugar


  1. Wash the lemons well. Peel the zest from the lemons with a potato peeler, taking care not to remove any of the white pith underneath. Place the zest in a large sterilised screw-top or clip-top jar and cover with half the vodka. Seal and set aside for 2 weeks.
  2. Two weeks later, put 225ml water and the sugar together in a saucepan over a low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Leave the sugar syrup to cool completely. (This is very important because if the sugar syrup is warm it will produce a cloudy limoncello.)
  3. Pass the lemon-infused vodka through a very fine or muslin-lined sieve into a jug and mix with the remaining vodka and the sugar syrup. Pour the mixture into a sterilised bottle and seal tightly with a cork or airtight lid. Set aside in a dark cool place for 10 days, for the flavours to develop.
  4. To serve as a liqueur, chill in the freezer for several hours before drinking.


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