Monday, 4 April 2016

Limoncello - a delightful liquer best made at home

My hubby and I were intently discussing if Limoncello was an aperitif or a digestif....

The first time I tried Limoncello was on the morning of a dear friend's birthday when we popped over to share our birthday wishes and she had just created a new batch of Limoncello.  We sipped on our shot glasses, toasting our friend's birthday and I was informed that Limoncello was designed to "cut through the fat" after a meal, thus assisting digestion.  Our friends considered it to be a digestif.

The warmth of that one glass of Limoncello and the memories we shared remained with us all day.

Stored in a beautiful glass bottle they keep it in the freezer so it could be served icy cold.   Since then I have discovered other people keep shot glasses in the fridge and the Limoncello in the pantry so it is always served cool; but never over ice.

Just before Easter I was fortunate to be given a bottle of 90% grappa which was immediately put to good use for limoncello.

With some ripe lemons I made my own limoncello.  My dear Italian friends say that you must wash the lemons and peel the skin away within 2 hours of picking the lemons for maximum oil content.    I don't know that you need to be that serious as my liquer was purelu delightful and the lemons were store bought!  The exceptional lemon flavour is exquisite with just enough sugar to enhance the flavour while the alcohol adds a warm depth and undercurrent to this welcome digestif.


750ml grappa (or vodka)
5 lemons
3 cups water, boiled and then cooled
2 cups white sugar

A large glass jar

Wash the lemons in warm water then dry.  Peel the skin thinly away, you don't want any white pith in this mixture as it can become sour.    Place lemon peel into the grappa or vodka in a large white jar.   Pour in the sugar and cooled water then stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Put on the lid tightly and store in a dark place for 5 days.
Remove, strain and bottle.
This will keep indefinitely.

I made candied lemon peel with the lemon strips after they were drained and these were delightful.

Have you ever made your own liquer?  
Buon appetito, enjoy Merryn xx


  1. I've never made limoncello, and totally need to -- I love lemons! Never would have thought to make it with grappa -- wonderful idea. Really nice -- thanks.

    1. Grappa is the best, it has a deeper flavour and more "kick" than vodka :)

  2. Ooh thank you for this! A friend and I were going to make this but she had to go overseas. I love really good limoncello :D

    1. This is a divine recipe Lorraine, I hope you and your friend make time to create it upon her return :)