How to Make Homemade Limoncello, the Perfect Summer Night's Drink


Ah, limoncello. There's nothing like sipping on some of this good stuff on a hot summer night to make you feel like you're basking away in Italy. The good news is you don't have to go to Italy to enjoy it. (Though we wouldn't say no to that trip!) Follow this recipe to make your own, but make sure you've planned in advance — limoncello needs to steep for a total of at least 40 days. Once it's nice and zesty though, it can last for years. That is, if you don't drink it too fast!


Yield: 7 1-liter bottles


  • 15 lemons
  • 2 bottles of Everclear or 190-proof grain alcohol, each 750 ml
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • Water


1. Peel the Lemons

Scrub the lemons in warm water and pat dry. Peel the lemons with a vegetable peeler, capturing the yellow peel only. Be careful not to include the white pith, which would give the limoncello a bitter flavor.

2. Let 'Em Steep (For a Looooong Time)

Place the lemon peels in a gallon glass jar. Pour in 1 bottle of the alcohol, and push down the lemon peels with a wooden spoon to completely submerge them in the liquid. Tightly secure the lid and set the jar in a cool, dark place to steep for 20 to 40 days.

3. Make Sugar Syrup

Once your first steeping period is over, it's time to add the sugar syrup. In a saucepan, combine sugar and 7½ cups water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 7 to 10 minutes, then remove the syrup from the heat and let it cool.

4. Complete the Mix and Steep

When the syrup is completely cool, add it to the jar of lemon peels and alcohol. Pour in the second bottle of alcohol abd stir. Tightly secure the lid and return the jar to a cool, dark place to steep for an additional 20 to 40 days. Over time, the liquid will absorb the lemon and turn bright yellow.

5. Strain and Add Water

Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer or coffee filter into a large bowl. Add 2 cups water to the limoncello. This will cause the liquid to turn cloudy and take on a pale yellow color. Let it rest for a moment so that any remaining sediment will fall to the bottom.

6. Bottle It Up

Using a funnel, ladle the limoncello into your desired bottles, leaving a ½" space at the top. Wipe the rims clean, secure the lids and label. Store the limoncello in a cool, dark place, or in the freezer so it's always ready to serve icy cold.

Find Your Next Recipe

No matter your taste, we've got the perfect drinks for you to sip on all year long.

Irish coffee was invented in — you guessed it — Ireland nearly 80 years ago, when a local chef decided that coffee is even better with a little something extra thrown in to take the chill off. (Irish whiskey, to be specific.)
Nicole Weston
This year, why not trade the standard bottle of bubbly for a spirited gift you crafted yourself? Infused vodka is incredibly easy to make, plus it lasts for ages. Which means the party can live on long after the decorations come down.
Nicole Weston
Chef Rick Bayless knows his way around a margarita. He literally wrote the book on authentic Mexican cooking, hosts the longtime PBS show Mexico: One Plate at a Time, and owns a bunch of bustling Mexican joints around the country. And lucky for us — and our happy hour buddies — he’s here to explain not only how to mix up this classic drink but also how to upgrade it to suit your specific tastes. Cheers to that!

Start a free trial for unlimited access to every project, pattern, recipe and tutorial on Bluprint.
Next for You
Discover the techniques to transform six delicious recipes into memorable handmade gifts for any occasion!
Diane Morgan
Diane Morgan
We're all trying to be more ethically and socially conscious in our day-to-days. But I'll be the first to admit that I haven't been as self-aware as I could be when it comes to how much plastic I use on a daily basis.
Nichole Fratangelo
Discover how easy it is to make pantry essentials at home. From pickles to jams, create your favorites and kiss added preservatives, sugar and salt goodbye!
Alana Chernila
Alana Chernila
Now Reading
How to Make Homemade Limoncello, the Perfect Summer Night's Drink