It’s a perfect time right now to make this delicious homemade Italian liqueur. It requires several weeks of sitting in a dark cupboard at which point the last remaining drab, wet days of spring should have walked out the door, kindly leaving it open so the warm summer air can waft right in. Limoncello weather.

It’s ridiculously easy to make although you will need to purchase a large jar of some kind if you don’t already have one. I purchased a gallon size Mason ball jar for $20 from World Market which was the perfect size.

You’ll also need 15 lemons or so (given a good scrubbing with hot water) and two bottles of 100 proof vodka. Make sure to buy 100 proof otherwise you cannot keep the finished product in the freezer without it freezing…and in the freezer is where it needs to be so it’s perfectly ice cold on consumption.

Just peel all the lemons and toss them into the jar. Add one bottle of vodka and place in a cool dark place for about a month.

At this point you need to combine 4 cups of sugar with 5 cups of water and heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool completely and then add it to the lemon peel jar along with the second bottle of vodka. Put it back in its cool, dark hidey place and forget about it for another month.

Now that it’s ready I just pour it all through a sieve into measuring jugs so that I can decant it into bottles. The tall bottle in the photo above (or similar) can be found at a variety of places but I also put some into mason jars which are great for giving away to friends and neighbours.¬† This recipe makes about 2 large bottles and a mason jars worth.

Now, while I generally aim to leave the limoncello to steep for a good couple of months I know in the past I have made it more quickly and I don’t recall this detracting from the overall taste too much. Indeed, many recipes have you steep for a much shorter time, so if you decide half way through June that you really want some homemade limoncello, for say, the July 4th festivities, don’t let that put you off. Just steep for as long as you’ve got and call it good.

The most frequent way I enjoy limoncello is straight up in a liqueur glass. But it’s also great splashed into prosecco and mixed into cocktails. You can even pour it over fruit or ice cream.



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