How Do You Make Homemade Limoncello?

Have you tried this refreshing summer beverage? You haven’t! Today I’m sharing with you How do you make homemade limoncello! It’s so easy!

I love sharing family recipes! Especially this tasty one! My homemade limoncello recipe has been in our family for generations. If you’ve ever wondered How You Make Homemade Limoncello? This post is just for you.

I hope that you may are inspired to make it for your next family gathering. 

Lemons with hand juicer
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What is Limoncello?

Limoncello is an Italian liqueur made in the southern part of Italy. Lemons are squeezed for the juice, then the zest of the lemons, and sugar are added along with grain alcohol such as vodka. Served chilled as a sipping beverage or added to a cocktail, Limoncello is a refreshing and delicious lemon beverage.

Where did Limoncello originate?

Limoncello originated in Sorrento and Capri Italy. Sipping limoncello after a meal is considered a pleasing digestive. Made from the zest of lemons which are widely grown in the southern portion of Italy.

My family history of making limoncello

Did your grandparents leave you with a lasting memory? Better yet, did they leave you with a recipe that could be called ‘liquid gold’? Ours sure did! Read on for more.

Early on I must confess, Limoncello wasn’t high on my list of preferred beverages.  As a matter of fact, I’d pretty much pass it up every time it was offered.

I remember visiting family in Italy, and politely shaking my head with a ‘no thank you’, as we all sat gathered around the table. 

(If you’re Italian, you know refusing food or beverages isn’t really a thing that is accepted easily! )

It wasn’t until I started sipping and tasting the batches of homemade limoncello that my dad, brother, and son would make, that I acquired a taste for it.

Lemons in front of vodka bottles

I’ve since learned. Never pass up an opportunity to sip a glass of this deliciousness. Especially if the deliciousness is homemade Limoncello.

How is limoncello made?

Step-by-step instructions

  • First, thoroughly wash and dry your lemons. We made an extra-large batch using 160 lemons for my son’s upcoming wedding! 
Lemons in sink
  • Second, start peeling the lemons, being careful not to get any pith.
  • This step takes some time but the finished product will be worth it.
Lemons in Strainer with peeler
  • Separate the lemons into two bowls. Lemons that are ready for squeezing and lemons that need to be peeled.

I love this girl! The bride-to-be! My son is one lucky guy. 

Lady peeling lemons
  • If you are making with a group of friends, creating an assembly line will make the process go quicker.

Many hands make light work! 

Family in kitchen peeling lemons
  • One station for squeezing and one station for adding the peels to the vat.

My sweet husband was the ‘official’ squeezer! 160 lemons and he is still smiling! 

Man using a lemon press
Hands putting lemon peels in a glass vat
  • Add the peels to the vat or beverage dispenser.

The scent in the house smells amazing! 

Pouring vodka into glass vat with lemon peels
  • Up next, add the vodka to the lemon peels. The lemon and vodka will need to infuse for 3 to 4 weeks. 
  • Once 4 weeks have passed, drain out the lemon juice and put it into a fresh dispenser.
  • Remove all of the lemon peels from the vodka
  • After 3 to 4 weeks, heat water and sugar to dissolve into a simple syrup
  • Allow sugar water to cool slightly
  • Lastly, combine sugar water and vodka
  • Chill to serve

Homemade Limoncello Recipe

lemons on counter with juicer

How do you Make Homemade Limoncello

Limoncello may be used in many recipes. Limoncello cakes, martinis, sorbet and more! Our family has been making limoncello for generations. Origin Fontechiari, Frosinone Italy Circa 1900 Gulf of Naples
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 hours
Infuse Time 21 days
Total Time 21 days 2 hours
Course Drinks
Cuisine Italian
Servings 45 people


  • Juicer hand juicer
  • Peeler
  • Glass Bottle
  • Knife slicing lemons
  • Bowl Lemon peels


  • 30 – 40 Lemons Organic Lemons – Medium to Large in Size
  • 1 liter 160 Proof Vodka Devil Springs or Everclear
  • 4 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 1 liter Filtered Water 50/50 ratio water/vodka


  • Wash and dry lemons
  • Gently peel lemons being careful not to get any pith
  • Place lemons in glass container
  • Add Vodka
  • Set aside to infuse 3 to 4 weeks. Vodka will become bright yellow with lemon oil
  • Use lemons for lemonade or other lemon drinks
  • After 3 to 4 weeks, heat water and sugar to dissolve into a simple syrup
  • Remove all of lemon peels from vodka
  • Allow sugar water to cool slightly
  • Combine sugar water and vodka
  • Chill to serve
Keyword Beverage, Homemade Limoncello, Limoncello

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What to do with all the lemon juice? For more recipe ideas click here or this lemon cake.

Lemon peels soaking in vodka in glass vat

I’m so thankful and grateful to my parents and grandparents for instilling in us this, and many other traditions!

Together with my son, my brother has carried on the tradition of making homemade limoncello.

This summer we will be making another large batch for our annual bocce party. Read more about it here.  If you love a refreshing summer beverage using Limoncello, you’ll love this.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

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