When life gives you lemons …

Everclear and Lemons

Make Limoncello!

Once a year, or so, I make a batch of Limoncello. This started because my oldest daughter fell in love with the stuff she had in Italy. Most of the restaurants there make their own. So when she requested a decanter and glassesfor her birthday a few years ago, I decided to try my hand at making it.

I looked up a dozen or so recipes on the Internet and sort of took bits and pieces from each to decide on how I would do it. I started a new batch and was talking about it online with friends and family. One asked me for the recipe today. (Everyone else just laid claim to the batch in progress!)

I really didn’t have a recipe, so I sent her this email today!


Everyone does this a little differently. Some use vodka. Some use more or less water and sugar. Some only let it rest for a week or so. Here is what I do.

1 – 1.75 litre of Everclear grain alcohol
18 – lemons (only the zest)
5 cups of sugar
1.75 litre of water (save the bottle the Everclear came in)


Zest the lemons as carefully as you can to get ONLY the yellow part. The white pith will make the limoncello bitter. I use a microplane because it does the best job.


Put the zest and the Everclear in a jar large enough to hold twice the volume and let it sit for at least 6 weeks. (stir twice a week)
After 6 weeks has gone by, boil the water, (it’s about 7 1/2 cups), just use the bottle to measure. Add the 5 cups of sugar and stir until it dissolves completely. Then add it to the Everclear and zest.


Let it sit for another six weeks!  You can stir occasionally to help it along. (once or twice a week)


I strain out the zest using coffee filters and a colander. At least twice, maybe three if it looks like there are any impurities still in the liquid. Bottle it in any size you want, store it in the freezer to chill. (it won’t freeze)


Serve it ice cold right out of the freezer, just a little. Made for sipping, not chugging! You can also cut it with soda water or some other mixer of your choice. You can even use it in cooking!


If you insist on chugging make sure you come to my house first so I can watch!

2 Responses to When life gives you lemons …

  1. Meredith January 13, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

    Also very nice over ice cream!

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