How to make homemade limoncello / Private Cooking recipe

How to make limoncello

How to make homemade limoncello 

For a wedding on Majorca, I was asked by the couple for a nice idea for a wedding favor. It was supposed to be something to relate to the island, something natural, something the guests could take home. One look into my garden and I suggested to make Limoncello from our wonderful  lemons. Done! My little bottles with the yellow liqueur were tied up in a tree in the garden of the wedding villa with the names of the male guests, together with small “Flor de sal” boxes for the female guests. 

Now, Limoncello is really not difficult to make. It just needs some tasteful, completely organic lemons and some weeks of patience. My Limoncello turns out so good because I leave the alcohol enough time to absorb the flavor and the colour of the lemon peel. 

For Mallorca residents, who have a lemon tree in their garden and don’t know where to go with all the fruits – the Limoncello is a great way, at least to make use of 6 to 8 more lemons! 

How to make limoncello Limoncello ingredientsFor my Limoncello recipe you need:

700 ml Vodka 

300 ml 96 %  alcohol (to be purchased in pharmacies)

6 to 8 organic lemons, best picked fresh from the tree

A jar

3 to 4 weeks of patience

Approximately 800 ml to 1 liter of simple sirup 

Small bottles

Fine metal strainer and a tea filter

Part 1: Peel the lemon skins with a fine peeler, making sure, that none of the with part of the skin stays on it. Put the skin pieces into a jar and fill it up with the alcohol. Close it properly and store it in a dark, cool place for at least 3, even 4 weeks. 

Lemon peel in alcohol on day one

Lemon peel in alcohol after 4 weeks

When you are ready to finish the Limoncello, you need a few small bottles or even only  one big one, if you are just producing it for you at home and not as a give away. Prepare simple sirup by bringing 500 g of white sugar and 500 ml of water to a boil and let it simmer for one minute. Cool down the simple sirup till cold.

Strain the lemon – alcohol through a metal strainer or fine colander. With my last mix I had 800 ml of lemon infused alcohol. Quite a bit of the liquid evaporated. You can avoid evaporation by using a jar that fits just the right quantity, my jar was too big (see photo).

Once the simple sirup is cold (a good idea is also to prepare it the day before) and added to the alcohol, it becomes cloudy. Now I pour the Limoncello through a tea filter, so all eventual particles are filtered out. 


How to make limoncello

lemon infused alcohol (left) and simple sirup (right)


mixing lemon infused alcohol with simple sirup


I find a 1:1 proportion of simple sirup and alcohol too sweet, so I mix one litre of lemon infused alcohol with 800 ml of simple sirup. If you add more simple sirup or a little bit less, is up to taste. 

Now, fill your bottles and leave the resting in the fridge for one more week before you give them away to your friends or enjoy the Limoncello yourself. 

You can serve it as a digestif after a nice meal, with ice cold sorbets in summer or simply on a cloudy day, when you are at home, missing our wonderful island.

Try it out and enjoy!

Caroline Fabian

Private Cooking

How to make limoncello

Lemon sorbet with a shot of homemade limoncello!