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Authentic Limoncello Recipe

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 25 min
  • Cook Time: 8 days
  • Total Time: 192 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2.5 liters 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Cuisine: Italian


The perfect homemade limoncello recipe made with Everclear, organic lemons, and simple syrup.


  • 10 medium or large organic lemons (this is important—no pesticides)
  • 1 liter Everclear alcohol* (151 proof)

Simple syrup

  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 5 1/2 cups granulated sugar


  1. Using a potato peeler, remove the rinds from the lemons, leaving all or as much of the pith on the lemon as possible (the white part). Too much pith and limoncello will be bitter.
  2. Place the lemon peels in a covered glass container with the Everclear and let sit for 7 days.
  3. On the 8th day, strain the lemon peels from the Everclear and discard.
  4. To make the simple syrup (sugar and water), add the water and sugar to a medium saucepan on medium heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  5. Let cool to room temp and add to the Everclear. You can serve it immediately or place it in the freezer to chill. I like to store them in smaller glass swing-top containers.


This recipe calls for 1 liter of Everclear and roughly 7 cups of simple sugar, rendering 3+ 750ml bottles of finished limoncello. A one-gallon jar such as this is ideal!

For this recipe, I used 151-proof Everclear, which is the perfect balance of flavor without being overly strong. You can use 190 proof but you may want to add an additional 1/2+ cup of simple sugar to account for the extra alcohol. If you can only find a 100-120-proof, spirit start with less sugar and add more to taste as needed.

Keywords: how to make limoncello, limoncello recipe