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The Ultimate Homemade Lemoncello

Once you start making things from scratch for yourself, it starts to be a bit obsessive.  We’ve worked Lemoncello into our repertoire gradually.  A friend who is a flight attendant took up the adorable habit of bringing us bottles of delicious, creamy lemoncello whenever she flew to Italy.  Then another friend decided to hand out little flasks of homemade lemoncello for the holidays one year.  And finally, one of our favorite guests at the restaurant brought in what was clearly the most delicious of all of the lemoncellos we had tasted.  We just had to make it for ourselves and our guests!  And so he generously shared his recipe and came in to make it with us. Try this; it’s so easy, and an excellent way to make friends!!Limoncello



From Tom Koelle

Photos by Greg Nesbit Photography


Yield:  approx. 3 l.

Time:  2-4 weeks


8-10 organic lemons, depending on size, scrubbed well

75 cl 190 proof Grain Alcohol

750 g sugar

1 l water


  1. Peel the zest off of the lemons in strips using a potato peeler; minimize the amount of pith as much as possible, it makes the lemoncello bitter.
  2. Pour the alcohol over the zest ina 1-2 l wide-mouthed covered glass container.
  3. Let stand 3-7 days.  Keep in a dark place and shake from time to time.
  4. When you’re ready to make the lemoncello, boil the sugar and water and let cool.  Strain the zest and add the syrup to taste to the alcohol/lemon mix.
  5. Age in a cool dark place for at least 2 weeks so that the flavors meld.
  6. Bottle and keep in the freezer until ready to serve.

Lemon Peels

We also made the lemoncello using 9 oranges and 2 lemons and it was equally ethereal…



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