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.


Fancy getting a copy in print?

Subscribe to our magazine

Rate & review



Read what others say...

Share a tip

Or, how about...?

Save recipe icon Save recipe icon Save recipe

Christmas cocktail recipes

Clementine pisco sour

A festive twist on a classic pisco sour cocktail, this refreshing drink makes a change...

Save recipe icon Save recipe icon Save recipe

Canapés and cocktails

Hugo cocktails

Drinks in the back garden? Learn how to make a Hugo cocktail, and transport yourself...

Save recipe icon Save recipe icon Save recipe

Recipes to celebrate spring

Elderflower gin and tonic

A quick and easy cocktail recipe – try our springtime gin and tonic, made with...

Save recipe icon Save recipe icon Save recipe

Christmas gift recipes


This is just like the Italian lemon liqueur limoncello, but made with clementines. It makes...

Subscribe to our magazine

Subscribe to delicious. magazine for HALF PRICE


Join our newsletter

Packed with menu ideas, recipes, latest competitions and more...

We treat your data with care. See our privacy policy. By signing up, you are agreeing to delicious.’ terms and conditions. Unsubscribe at any time.