If there’s one thing I love, it’s an ice-cold Limoncello served on a sweltering summer day. Limoncello is Italian lemon liqueur and it tastes heavenly. If you want to see how to make the best homemade limoncello, read along here and get our recipe.

Italian limoncello in glasses and a bottle of lemon liqueur

Lemons and lemon liqueur

It’s been many years since I tasted limoncello for the first time, but you never forget the taste! You can buy limoncello in many stores, I remember it best from the shops south of the German border when we were down there shopping with my parents.

There’s no mistaking the taste, a lovely sweet but strong citrus flavour, which is best enjoyed completely chilled and with a small ice cube in it.

Make a large portion when you start, because it disappears quickly!

The recipe is actually quite simple, lemons, vodka, and sugar syrup, and the only thing that is difficult to deal with is actually the time it takes before it can be tasted..

During the summer, we serve limoncello as a small aperitif before the meal, and then just one after to finish the meal. But having said that, it can also be enjoyed as a delicious little mouthful, just for fun in the summer heat.

You need a lot of lemons, you only need the peel, and to avoid a lot of waste, you of course make a good lemonade for the kids from all the remaining lemons. I usually use vodka as the “boozy” element in my recipe for limoncello, but it could also be schnapps if you like that taste.

If you have never tasted limoncello, do like me and make it yourself. It’s so nice to go and look forward to the golden drops while they’re in the fridge.

tall glasses with limoncello and lemon and a bottle

Ingredient notes

Lemons – You must of course use lemons, and they must be unsprayed organic lemons! We only need to use the peel and we would prefer not to have pesticides in the finished product.

Vodka – Find a good vodka, it just makes the best limoncello in the end.

Sugar syrup – The sugar syrup is simply water and sugar boiled and cooled.

How to make limoncello?

Here is a brief description of how to make the best lemon liqueur in the world.

There really isn’t that much work involved, just a hard wait until the liqueur is finished and ready to drink.

Put the peel from 15 large organic lemons in a jam jar or similar. Vodka is poured over and the jar is refrigerated.

After some time in the fridge, all flavors from the lemon peels have been extracted into the vodka. The whole thing is poured through a cloth or a fine-mesh sieve and mixed with the already prepared sugar syrup.

Stir it thoroughly and now pour the limoncello into bottles and let it mature in the fridge for a few weeks before serving.

Find the full recipe further down this page.

limoncello i glasses with ice cubes and bottle in the background

Frequently asked questions

How to store limoncello?

In the fridge. It is best served cold.

What can I substitute lemons with?

Try with oranges, it is probably delicious.

Other drink recipes you might like

limoncello in tall glasses and lemons and small bottles with the italian lemon liqueur

Tips and tricks for limoncello

  • Use only unsprayed organic lemons.
  • Start by pouring in half of the sugar syrup and taste it. You may not like it as sweet as I do.
  • Use the lemons for lemonade after you have used the peel for limoncello.

Serving suggestions

  • Use limoncello in drinks.
  • Serve it on a warm summer day with an ice cube in it.

Do you love lemons? Try our traditional Danish lemon mousse – Citronfromage

limoncello in tall glasses
two bottles and to glasses with italian limoncello

Recipe for Italian lemon liqueur

Here comes our recipe for one of the best liqueurs you can get. It tastes fantastic of lemon and is a fresh little aperitif before a good meal on a hot summer day.

Serve it chilled in small glasses with a small ice cube and delight your guests with a delicious homemade liqueur with full citrus flavor. We hope you will want to try the recipe.

Italian limoncello in glasses and a bottle of lemon liqueur


Recipe for limoncello
A delicious and fresh Italian lemon liqueur with a sweet/sour taste. They are served in small glasses with an ice cube in them, and are lovely on a hot summer day. It takes some time to make, but it's worth the wait.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 days
Maturation 21 days
Total Time 28 days 15 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 portion
Calories 1583 kcal


  • 15 lemons organic
  • 75 cl vodka
  • 350 g sugar
  • ½ dl water


  • Rinse the lemons thoroughly in cold water.
    15 lemons
  • Now you have to get the peel off the lemons. It is very important to remove a thin layer so that you avoid the white in the shell. The white is very bitter, and that taste should preferably not be included in the finished limoncello.
    – A thin peeler can be used with advantage here, it can be bought online and in hardware stores.
  • Put the lemon peels in a container and pour the vodka over. Put a lid on the container and put it in the fridge. Now it must be refrigerated for a week. Shake the container a few times during the week.
    75 cl vodka
  • After a week in the fridge, the peels should start to lose their color. Pour it all through a fine-mesh sieve or a cloth to get the impurities out.
    – The lemon peels can be saved and candied, or dried and made into lemon pepper.
  • When the peels are removed, you are left with lemon-flavored vodka, but to make it into a liqueur, it must be mixed with sugar syrup.
  • Put water and sugar in a saucepan and heat it until it starts to simmer. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool down.
    ½ dl water, 350 g sugar
  • When the syrup has cooled down, it is poured into the container with the vodka, and the lid is put back on the glass. Shake it thoroughly, or stir with a spoon so that the sugar syrup is mixed well with the lemon-flavored vodka.
  • Now the limoncello can be poured into bottles, but before it is completely finished, it is a good idea to let it stand and mature in the fridge for approx. 3 weeks before drinking.
  • Serve the limoncello cold with an ice cube in it.


Serving: 1portionCalories: 1583kcalCarbohydrates: 369gProtein: 2gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 11mgPotassium: 306mgFiber: 6gSugar: 355gVitamin A: 48IUVitamin C: 114mgCalcium: 61mgIron: 1mg
Keyword aperitifs, homemade limoncello, lemon alcoholic drink, Lemon drink, Lemon licueur
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