How To Make Homemade Limoncello with just a few ingredients. If you love Limoncello you are going to love making your own batch of this delicious Italian lemon liqueur.
Ever since my husband and I traveled to Italy for our honeymoon I have had a love/hate relationship with Limoncello. Love because it tastes so dannatamente bravo (that’s damn good in Italian) and hate because it is so easy to drink that I tend to drink a little too much. My BFF and I call it “getting hit by the Limoncello truck” because in the morning it literally feels like you have been run over by a truck. Lesson learned…don’t drink too much Limoncello. Anyway, I wanted to make some myself because that stuff is expensive! Ok, now I know why. It is pretty time consuming to make for starters. Have you ever shaved 40 lemons? Probably not. I am here to tell you it takes a long time. Seriously. You better have a good knife too. However…making your own homemade Limoncello is so satisfying and your friends will really really love you for it.
What is Limoncello?
Limoncello is a lemon flavored Italian liqueur. It is mainly produced in Southern Italy using fresh lemon zest or peels and vodka. It is traditionally served cold after dinner is small chilled ceramic glasses. It is pretty high in alcohol content so you don’t want to guzzle it. Or maybe you do…la tua scelta.
What alcohol is use in Limoncello?
Everclear, just so you know, is not cheap. When did this become so expensive? I’m pretty sure that one of my college friends smuggled this stuff into my room at my high school graduation party and created what he referred to as “Jungle Juice” with this and grape Kool-Aid. I know he didn’t spend $18 for that bottle! I digress. So, now that I have my vodka (no particular brand was desired…I went with what they had on sale) and Everclear and my 40 fresh lemons I am ready to go. (Side note, I felt like a complete lush buying two bottles of vodka and Everclear so I explained to everybody within hearing distance that I was making Limoncello. Hear that people? I-am-making-Limoncello. Not…repeat…not, having a hardcore drinking party. Carry on.) I know that Everclear is not sold in all states so if you can’t find it, your state has probably banned it. In addition to Everclear you will need to pick up a bottle of vodka.
How to Make Homemade Limoncello
Wash the wax off of your lemons…This is a VERY important step. Wash thoroughly and make sure you get all of the soap off. My FedEx guy, Reggie (who is retiring this week after 25 years with FedEx and opening his own vineyard), just told me that if you don’t wash thoroughly it will taste soapy. Nobody wants soapy Limoncello. I got this at Trader Joe’s I think but you can use any fruit/vegetable wash.
I washed several at a time in a big pot.
Now for the shaving part. I tried using a vegetable peeler and found that it took off entirely too much pith so I opted for this method. Be very careful with this step. If you get too much pith (white part) your Limoncello will taste bitter. If that happens no one will want to drink it and all this work and expense will be for naught. I tell my son all the time, “Follow directions. There is a reason we do what we do and why.” Don’t get lazy with this step! It is time consuming but well worth it in the end.
How to store your Limoncello
See how it is already turning yellow? Oh my goodness this is going to be good!