Italian Limoncello


Limoncello takes some time but it's definitely worth it! Use an alcohol content calculator to dilute the limoncello to your desired proof. The longer this rests, the mellower it gets.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
10 days 8 hrs 12 mins
Total Time:
10 days 9 hrs 7 mins
5 1/2 bottles


  • 1 (1.75 liter) bottle 190 proof grain alcohol (such as Everclear®)

  • 20 lemons, zested, or more to taste

  • 1-gallon jug

  • 7 cups water

  • 7 cups white sugar

  • coffee filters

  • 6 clean wine bottles with corks


  1. Combine alcohol and lemon zest in a 1-gallon jug with a tight-fitting lid. Place in a cool, dark place to rest for 1 month. Swirl contents of the jug every few days.

  2. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat; stir until sugar is fully dissolved. Set simple syrup aside to cool completely, 15 to 30 minutes.

  3. While simple syrup is cooling, place a sieve over a large bowl and line with coffee filters. Strain alcohol mixture through coffee filters to remove all sediment. Replace the filters as needed until all the mixture has been filtered. Filter one more time to ensure all sediment has been removed. Discard coffee filters and zest.

  4. Add enough simple syrup to the alcohol mixture to reach the desired alcohol-by-volume percentage; refer to an alcohol content calculator.

  5. Divide limoncello among 6 wine bottles. Seal with corks. Allow to rest in a cool, dark place for 1 month, swirling every few days. Strain one more time to remove any leftover sediment if desired.

  6. Place 1 bottle of limoncello in the freezer and serve icy-cold. Store remaining bottles at room temperature.

Cook's Notes:

You might need 22 lemons, depending on size. Also excellent when using grapefruit or orange zest.

You may not use all of the simple syrup - typically I use 10 cups simple syrup to bring the ABV to 40 to 50 percent.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

152 Calories
20g Carbs
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 70
Calories 152
% Daily Value *
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 20g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Potassium 3mg 0%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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