This homemade limoncello boasts rich lemon flavor without being too boozy or sweet. Look for unwaxed organic lemons, or be sure to give the whole citrus a good scrub before peeling. Juice leftover peeled lemons, and freeze juice up to 3 months.

Homemade Limoncello
Photo: Aubrie Pick
Total Time:
1 hrs
Makes about 8 3/4 cups


  • 35 lemons (about 8 3/4 pounds)

  • 4 cups (32 ounces) pure 95% food-grade alcohol (such as Everclear)

  • 5 1/2 cups filtered water or mineral water

  • 3 cups granulated sugar


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove peels from lemons, being sure to avoid any white pith, to yield 10 1/2 ounces lemon peels. Place peels in a 3-quart jar with a hinged lid. Reserve remaining lemons for another use. Pour alcohol over peels, making sure peels are submerged. Fasten lid on jar, and let stand in a cool, dark place 24 hours.

  2. Line a wire-mesh strainer with cheesecloth, and pour lemon mixture through strainer into a large pitcher. Discard solids. Repeat straining 1 time.

  3. Stir together 51/2 cups water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium; simmer until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add to infused alcohol, and stir to combine. Pour into sealable sterilized bottles, and cover tightly. Store at room temperature. Chill before serving.

Make Ahead

Limoncello can be made up to 1 year in advance.

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