How To Make Limoncello at Home

Difficulty: Low
By Cookist
For 2 lt
95% alcohol
1 lt
600 gr
1 lt

Limoncello is a typical liqueur of Campania, in particular of the Amalfi coast, made with lemon peels whose alcohol content varies between 20% and 32% vol. It's a sweet liqueur with a bright yellow color which is obtained by letting the lemon peels macerate in pure alcohol with the addition of a syrup based on water and sugar. Once prepared, it must remain in the bottle for at least 1 month, before being tasted. Limoncello is an excellent digestive, in fact it is usually served after meals, but it can also be used to wet or flavor sweets, fruit salads and ice cream. Its preparation is simple but you have to follow all the steps well and use fresh and untreated lemons – those from Sorrento are perfect, as they are rich in essential oils that give the limoncello its unique and decisive scent and taste.

How to make limoncello recipe

Wash the lemons well with a metal sponge, dry and peel them with a potato peeler, 1 removing only the yellow part and leaving the white and spongy one on the lemon, as it could give a bitter taste to the liqueur.

Place the lemon peels in an airtight glass jar and macerate them in pure alcohol for 3/7 days in a cool place away from light. 2 Shake the jar daily to mix the ingredients well.

After the necessary time, filter the liquid with a sieve and immediately prepare the syrup. Put the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let it cool and add the liquid flavored with lemon zest to the syrup, mix well and pour into one or more sterilized and airtight glass bottles. Keep cool and dark for at least 30 days before consuming.


If it's possible, it's better to cut the lemon peel using ceramic knives or tools that help preserve all the active ingredients and benefits of the essential oils contained in the peel.

During the maceration and storage phase, keep jars and bottles in a cool and dark place as the active ingredients are sensitive to light and heat and this could compromise the flavor of the limoncello.

For the preparation, use only pure quality alcohol in order to prevent it from freezing once in the freezer. Use lemons from Sorrento or otherwise organic and not treated with thick and wrinkled peel.

You can increase or decrease the amount of sugar according to your taste.

If you love the lemon flavor you can also prepare the limoncello cream by adding milk and cream to pure alcohol, lemon zest and sugar. It's a fresh and creamy liqueur perfect after a meal.

How to store limoncello

Once ready, the limoncello can be stored for a long time in the fridge or freezer: the presence of alcohol and sugar will prevent it from freezing.

Limoncello and its history: who invented Limoncello?

The history of limoncello is not completely clear, its origin is in fact disputed between the inhabitants of Amalfi, Sorrento and Capri. The "Limoncello" trademark was registered for the first time in Capri in 1988 by the entrepreneur Massimo Canale and many believe that the invention of this famous liqueur is linked to the Canale family: limoncello was in fact born in the early 20th century from a grandmother's recipe. This liqueur was born as an exclusively homemade preparation but, in the 80s, it became so much popular that it was produced on an industrial level. However, However, home preparation remains the favorite of true limoncello lovers.

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