In the lead up to Christmas, I wanted a little at-home project for myself. Everyone had been busy making banana bread and sourdough during the numerous lockdowns in the UK, but I wanted to try something a bit different. And that’s when it came to me – a homemade limoncello recipe!
If you have travelled to Italy then you will likely have sampled this local specialty. A lemon infused spirit that is sweet yet surprisingly smooth! Personally, it reminds me of girl’s nights out (remember when they were a thing?!?) and our favourite Italian restaurant here in York. I definitely think it is a drink that needs to be shared. And so in an attempt to spread some Christmas cheer, I decided that I would decant the limoncello into several small bottles and deliver it to the neighbors.
After making limoncello at home for the first time, I am confident it will become a Christmas tradition for many years to come. And I hope I can inspire you with this recipe to try it at-home yourself too.
How To Make Homemade Limoncello Recipe
ingredients & equipment
- 10 Unwaxed Lemons
- 700 millimeters of 69.9% ABV Grain Neutral Spirits
- 4 cups of White Sugar
- 4 cups of Water
- 1 Litre Glass Jar
- Vegetable Peeler
- Glass Bottles for the Final Product
#1 – Start by peeling all of the lemons. Try to avoid the white pith of the lemon skin as they are bitter and can take away from the sweet flavour of the limoncello.
#2 – Place the lemon peels into the jar and pour in all of the Grain Neutral Spirits. Ensure that all of the lemon peels are covered with the liquid.
#3 – Leave the lemon peel and spirits mixture to steep i.e. infuse, for a minimum of 4 weeks.
#4 – When your mixture has finished infusing, strain the liquid into a bowl. Ensure that none of the lemon peel makes it into the liquid and that it is free of any debris.
#5 – Next make a sugar syrup to add to the lemon infused spirit. To make the sugar syrup, add equal parts sugar and water to a pan. Gently warm the mixture on a low heat until all of the sugar has fully dissolved. Cover the pan and leave to cool for a few hours.
#6 – Once the sugar syrup is completely cool you can start the final process of the limoncello recipe. Add 1 cup at a time of the sugar syrup to the lemon infused spirit mixture. Taste the mixture and then continue to add sugar syrup until you are happy with the flavor. I ended up adding 2.5 cups of the sugar syrup to make my perfect limoncello.
#7 – Using the funnel, decant the mixture into 1 large bottle or several small bottles to give to family and friends.
#8 – Enjoy! And remember – drink responsibly.
Things To Note About Making Limoncello
- Unwaxed lemons will work best for this recipe. If the lemons have a coating on them, the oil from the lemon skins will not be released as easily during the steeping process.
- Do not use a store bought vodka. A high proof alcohol will work best for infusion and ensure a smoother flavour.
- The mixture can infuse for longer than 4 weeks if desired. The lemon flavour may be stronger the longer you leave it, however most of the infusion will occur in the first few weeks.
- The alcohol content of homemade limoncello will vary depending on various factors, so please be conscious of this when consuming it yourself or serving to guests.
Items Purchased For The Limoncello Recipe
If you are interested to purchase any of the items I used to make the limoncello recipe, here are the links:
- Grain Neutral Spirit from Masters of Malt
- Kilner Square Clip Top Jar 2ltr Preservation Jar (NB: a 1ltr jar would be acceptable)
- 10 pocket flask bottles 200ml
So what do you think of this Homemade Limoncello Recipe? I was so impressed with how incredibly easy it was to make and just how delicious it tasted. There is something special about making treats like this to enjoy with family and friends as opposed to store bought products.
If you decide to try this limoncello recipe at home, I would absolutely love to know. So, be sure to share it on your socials and tag me in the post! And if you loved this easy recipe, I have plenty more for you to enjoy. Everything from beer battered fish & sweet potato fries to sun-dried tomato dip cob loaf. Happy cooking!
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