Homemade Limoncello

I am not ashamed to admit that one of my favourite things to do a Sunday morning is watch Food Network and get some ideas for meals for the week ahead. I’m even further unashamed to tell you that one of my current fave shows is Valerie’s Home Cooking I have tried so many recipes from her show and every single one of them has been a home run! I’m especially excited about my most recent one and I can’t wait to share!

A recent episode showcased lemons and if you know anything about me, you know that  love lemons. Lemons in my water, in my tea, lemon slices, lemon pie, lemon cupcakes, lemon chicken… you get the picture. Lemon everything! So it’s no surprise that I was so excited when Valerie featured limoncello on her show. Because, shocker, I also love limoncello.

For those of you who have never tried limoncello, you’re in for a treat. Limoncello is an Italian liquer made out of lemon zest, simple syrup and alcohol. Although traditionally it’s made in Italy, it is an extremely popular homemade liquer and after trying Valerie’s recipe, I can see why! It’s incredibly easy to make and so, SO tasty!

The recipe that I used was Valerie’s recipe and it can also be found on the Food Network site here.

What You Need:

  • Lemons! The recipe calls for 14 organic, I used 15 (I’m a rebel like that)
  • 1 liter vodka. You don’t have to use a specific brand, but make sure it’s something that you would like to drink. I used Absolut
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • Glass bottles – I got the Korken bottles from IKEA (they’re also on sale right now!)



  • Grate the lemons using a microplane grater, carefully avoiding the pith (white part)
  • Place zest in a pitcher
  • Pour vodka over zest
  • Cover with plastic wrap and leave alone at room temperature for a week
  • Make the simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.
  • Let cool completely. This is important, if you add hot liquid to vodka, the alcohol could evaporate and that kind of defeats the entire purpose of making homemade liqueurs!
  • Once cooled, pour the simple syrup into the pitcher with the vodka and lemon zest and stir
  • Let stand for 24 hours
  • Strain the mixture through an extra fine sieve or cheesecloth
  • Discard the solids and funnel the rest into glass bottles
  • Enjoy!



  • This would make for great homemade holiday gifts!
  • Although limoncello is traditionally served after dinner as a digestif, you can also make so many delicious cocktails with it! A favourite of mine is adding ice, gin and some freshly squeezed lemon juice to a shaker and serve in a martini glass.

Does anyone else make homemade liqueurs? If so, I would love to hear about them!