When Life Gives you Lemons Make…Limoncello

I am trying to get more organised for Christmas (yes it is approaching fast!), and have made a start on all things yummy for my annual Christmas hampers, that I give away to family as gifts. These hampers usually consist of a few jars of chutneys or marmalades, however this year I have decided to add a bit of an alcohol twist by attempting my own homemade Limoncello.

What is Limoncello?

Limoncello is a lemon flavoured liqueur that is mainly made in Italy, predominantly in the south of the country. Its enjoyed as an after dinner digestivo and usually served in a small chilled ceramic glass.

There is a tonne of recipes online for how to make this lovely refreshing drink, and I decided to follow this one from BBC Good Food.

This is such an easy recipe and is really quite simple to make. Just be mindful, if you are giving it away as a gift to ensure you have enough time to make it. The recipe I used took about two weeks for the limoncello to be made.

How to Make Limoncello:

To start, this wonderful drink takes a little bit of time as you need to peel pieces (or otherwise known as paring the zest) of lemon, ensuring that none of the pith is not put into the mix. This can be painstaking if you don’t have the right knife or peeler. My hands were aching after doing this, but it is well worth it to see the limoncello develop.

The peel is then added to a 1-litre bottle of vodka. I chose a cheap bottle from the supermarket and placed the mixture into a large 1-2 litre Kilner jar so that knew it would be sealed.

Then you wait for a week, remembering to shake the mixture throughout this time. I forgot on some days so gave the jar an extra bit of shaking on the days that I remembered.

After a week or so has passed, it is time to move onto the second stage of the recipe. This part includes dissolving sugar into water, which you add to the boozy lemon mix. At this point, I had to purchase another Kilner jar, as the one I had was way too small for the amount of liquid that came from adding the water/sugar mix.
Waiting for a further week to stew, again shaking the jar regularly during this time.

Kilner jar filled with Limoncello ingredients.

Two Weeks Later…

Once the lemon mix has been left for two weeks (or maybe slightly longer) it is time to strain and put it into bottles. I bought these 200ml pocket bottles to bottle the limoncello into. Before bottling though, the mixture needs to be strained and the peel removed from the mixture. The lemon peel looked and felt really weird, kind of waxy. I strained the mixture into a large mixing bowl, then used a ladle and funnel to get it into the bottles. The mixture filled the full pack of 10 bottles, which was more than enough and more than I needed…extra limoncello for me 😁.

Lemon peel in sieve, straining the ready Limoncello.

Once bottled, all that is left to do is to add a label and give away as gifts. It is recommended to place it in the freezer to chill it right down before serving.

The Recipe:

🍋 Limoncello 🍋 
5 Unwaxed Lemons
1L Bottle of Vodka
750g Caster Sugar
700ml Boiling Water
1. Peel (Pare) the Zest from the lemons, ensuring that the pith is not added.
2. Place the peel into a large clean jar, pouring over the full 1L bottle of vodka.
3. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, and leave for a week.
4. Shake the jar regularly throughout this week.
5.  After a week
6. Place the sugar into a heatproof bowl, and pour over the boiling water.
7. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
8. Add this sugar mixture to the lemon mixture in the jar.
9. Cover again with a tight-fitting lid, leaving for a further week
10. Shake jar regularly during this time.
11.  After a week
12. Strain the mixture, ensuring that the lemon peel is removed.
13. Pour the mixture into bottles.
14. Label the bottles and store or give away as gifts.

Ps. For an extra touch when giving away as a gift, add a fresh piece of zest just before gifting the bottle for a nice decorative touch.

Hope you enjoyed this recipe!

Keep your eyes peeled for another version of this recipe in the next week or so!

Check out these other recipes that have featured on my blog:
Caramel Shortbread, Milopitakia- Apple Stuffed Biscuits, & Dandelion and Burdock Cake

As always, thanks for reading,