Last minute lady

Making Limoncello at home!

My friend Joey Campanale, restaurant owner of Dell’Anima, L’artusi and Anfora wine bar in NYC, and fantastic sommelier, showed me how they make Limoncello, a refreshing Italian flavored alcohol.

That’s really all it is when you get down to it-flavored vodka or grain alcohol.  I’ve seen many recipes for this drink and while they are all similar, when you learn how to make it, you can create your own variations!  Joey uses vodka, which I think makes perfect sense, especially if you have a brand you already like (but don’t bother using anything too expensive since you will be infusing it).

So he started by taking a large glass container with an air tight lid and peeled lemon rinds right into the jar until is was filled completed with the peels.

Once it was full, he poured enough vodka into the jar to surround the peels and fill it to the brim.  At this point he covered it tightly and let it sit for three months so the lemon oils from the peels could seep out and infuse the vodka.  I suppose you could add a vanilla bean or some other flavor to this but traditional Limoncello has only the lemon flavor.  Also, if you only let this steep and did not proceed to the next step of adding sugar, you’d have a delicious lemon-flavored vodka that you could use to make mixed drinks or to serve with simply club soda or tonic water.

After the steeping period, Joe strained the vodka and discarded the lemon peels.

Next he made a simple syrup mixture of sugar and water.  You could try to make this with honey instead of the white sugar, which I think would be fantastic with the lemons.  He then added the sweet syrup to the lemon vodka to make a sweet concoction-you can sweeten to your liking.

Once you get the flavors right-ecco la!  Your Limoncello is ready to be chilled and served cold after a nice big Italian meal!


24 Responses to “Making Limoncello at home!”

  1. [...] Limoncello at home! rachael ray,Making Limoncello at home! rachel raysource link – Rachael Ray Blogs Making Limoncello at home! rachael ray Making Limoncello at home!Rachel Ray RecipeMy Favorite [...]

  2. gayle says:

    How long do you steep rinds in vodka?

  3. Paula says:

    I made this at home and used lemon juice for part of the water in the simple syrup. Turned out great!

  4. Alisha says:

    what is the ratio between sugar and water to make the syrup? This is my FAVORITE drink, I can’t wait to make it at home!

  5. Marian Burns says:

    Beautiful bright, sunny & delish. Sounds like
    Rachael Ray. My husband and I look forward to your magazine and tv show.

  6. Louisa says:

    I love this! So delicious for summer.

  7. sandra says:

    steep for 3 months,and usally its 1c sugar to 1 c water

  8. Sandra is correct! You steep for up to three months in a cool dark place and the simple syrup is a one to one ratio mixture of water and sugar. How much you add to the Limoncello is a personal preference.

  9. This sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Bella

  10. Trisha Huffman says:

    I make honey syrup with 1/3 c water and 1/3 cup sugar – after boiling, add 1/3 c honey. You can even use honey that has crystalliized. Just melt it. My daughter loves this on pancakes. The original recipe came with a pancake recipe from Giada (just giving credit.) -tsh

  11. Barbara says:

    We need the rest of the recipe. How much sugar how much water, then how long do you let it set?????Barbara

  12. Sherry says:

    Are you sure you have to discard the lemon peels after steeping? Seems like such a waste! I am thinking you could stuff them into a chicken and roast it – or mince them and add to a creamy pasta sauce… there’s gotta be something you can do with them! Or am I wrong?

  13. MaggieB says:

    I watched them make this in the villa we stay in when visiting Tuscany! It is the perfect after-dinner aperitif ice cold (keep it in the freezer) in a dainty glass.

    You can also add some to a martini shaker with some 1/2 and 1/2 and a touch of granulated sugar, shake and stir… YUMMY!

  14. Mrs. Lucky says:

    This is on my to do list! I have a delicious limoncello trifle (or you can break it down to limoncello cake with berries and/or limoncello custard) that is a favorite with my friends. Thank you for sharing!

  15. KATHY says:

    I HAVE TO TRY THIS. I LOVE LIMONCELLO. I MAKE WHAT ICALL THE “CARLA” NAMED AFTER DANNY DEVITO,S WIFE’S NAME IN “CHEERS”. HIS LIMONCELLO IS AWESOME. ADD LIMONCELLO TO ITALIAN LEMON WATER ICE. IT’S THE BEST. YUM’

  16. Mary Solis says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. My husband and I love this after dinner liqueur. Hmm! My husband said, “If you make it, I will drink it!”

    Thanks for the recipe!

    I love your show and it always inspires me to get in the kitchen and cook. For that my family thanks you!

  17. Annette says:

    Most simple syrup recipes call for slightly more sugar to water, not the one-to-one ratio as bloggers are claiming. Using more sugar than water creates a nice thick syrup.

    Finished, Lemoncello is supposed to have a thicker viscosity than the base alcohol (vodka/everclear, etc.)and it’s because of the heavy simple syrup.

    Another tip: make sure there is no pith (white stuff) on the lemon peels, it is bitter and causes cloudiness in the liquid. Got some steeping right now…can’t wait!

  18. LT says:

    when you peel the lemons take only he peel itself. DO NOT take the pith or the mix will get a bitter taste. Also use a quality brand of Vodka or Everclear for a stronger kick. I have made this for years and always add the sugar/water mixture to the lemon vodka when both are at room temp., otherwise the liquid will get cloudy. Be sure to starin the mixture several times before adding the sugar / water.

    Cheers

  19. This article is very useful. Nattie & Ruth Adult Lemonade http://www.mytay.me/48 includes limoncello. We can now stock our own limoncello to include in this recipe. Thanks for the great tip.

  20. CJ says:

    Do you need to refrigerate this when it is done and how long can you keep this?

  21. nancy says:

    I read your recipe and your instructions are right.I have been living in Italy for 50 years and have made lemoncello for years. here is another tip fur you— instead of water and sugar milk and sugar and “VOLA” a ladies drink. hope somebody tries it. nancy from italy

  22. Rina Paterno says:

    I found questions but no answers. I would love to have proportions. I”m one of those cooks who needs specific amounts. I love limoncello and always buy somje when I visit Italy.

  23. Maryann says:

    I’VE MADE THIS AND IT’S TERRIFIC. CAN WE ALSO MAKE IT WITH ORANGES INSTEAD OF LEMONS??? OR LIMES??? OR GRAPEFRUIT???, ETC. THEY MAY BE INTERESTING!
    HAPPY “CELLO-ING”!

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