Homemade Limoncello

"Meyer lemons, this. Meyer lemons, that." For awhile there, every blog we read was extolling the virtues of the Meyer lemon. Unfortunately for us, here in nasty New England, in cold Connecticut, Meyer lemons are pretty hard to come by. Unless you drive an hour out of state to Trader Joe's and happen to come across of small bag of the beauties. Imagine our glee!

New, albeit related, topic. We have been enjoying limoncello for over a decade, since Amy had her first sip of the real thing on her first of many trips to Italy. We've never been 100% satisfied by anything we've bought from the liquor store. However, now and then, an Italian friend-of-a-friend, or a kind restaurant server or manager somewhere will share some of their homemade stash. We've always wanted to make it ourselves...so, we thought, when life gives us Meyer lemons, make limoncello!

We mixed the Meyer lemons with regular, organic ones because we weren't thinking straight in the store and didn't buy enough of them! Nonetheless, the mix produced a vibrant yet smooth tasting liquor. It was not too sweet, as some brands tend to be, nor too harsh with an alcohol burn, as others are. It was appropriately thick without having a cloying syrupy texture. Basically, it seemed to fall somewhere in between all of these things, and we were delighted with our results. Here's how we made our own homemade limoncello. Enjoy. It's soooo worth the effort.

8 medium-to-large organic lemons
4 Meyer lemons
750 ml. bottle of grain alcohol (we used Everclear)
5 cups water
3 and 1/4 cups sugar


Thoroughly wash and dry the lemons. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skins from the lemons, taking care not to get any of the white pith, which will cause a bitter flavor. Put the peels in an airtight container and add the alcohol. Seal the container and shake well. Store the container in a cool, dark place for seven days. Each day, once a day, shake the container well. You will begin to see the alcohol take on a yellow tint - this is a good thing! On the seventh day, mix the sugar and water in a large saucepan. Heat it over medium heat until the sugar dissolves (no need to boil it) - this is simple syrup. Strain the lemon peels from the alcohol, then mix the alcohol with the simple syrup. You have now created homemade limoncello. Store in an airtight container or bottles as desired. Serve chilled.


Unknown said...

YUM! I cannot wait to try!!

Cocina Savant said...

we're hosting an italian dinner in a week and a half. i'm heading to the store shortly so we can serve our guests some of this! thanks for the idea!

Chef Dennis Littley said...

oh how I do love lemoncello!!! could use some right now....

thanks for sharing your recipe1

jck said...

Thanks again for sharing some with me...it really was superior. (I wish I had taken you up on your offer for some to bring home.)

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

Saved! LOVE love love Limoncello and my bottle is nearly empty! Thanks for sharing :)

The Duo Dishes said...

This is really nice to know. It's so easy! Had no idea grain alcohol was the base for limoncello though. Very interesting!

Jenn [Defunkt Gourmet] said...

I've never had Limoncello before and what a great way to try than making your own! This looks so gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

eatgreek.net said...

I was looking for a recipe for Limoncello! I' gonna try it! :D

Unknown said...

Love Limoncello, and like you, we can't really grow them in Oregon either. Fortunately I have an aunt in Southern California who has a huge tree and mails us a big box each February. (We make sure we bring a bottle when we see her at Christmas, just as insurance :?) ) Have you tried Agrumino? Same concept, but you add orange peel, lime peel and a quartered mandarin along with the lemon.