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Challenge: Cocktail Hour

How To Make Limoncello

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I first tasted Limoncello when visiting the Mantova region of northern Italy. After my first taste, I was hooked and knew I had to make it at home. A business associate from the area provided me with his grandmother's recipe.

How To Make Limoncello


  • 8 medium organic lemons
  • 750 milliliters of 190 proof Everclear pure grain alcohol
  • 6 ¼ cups distilled water
  • 2 ½ cups pure cane sugar


  1. Peel 8 medium lemons - peel thinly so the peels only have yellow and no white pith.
  2. Soak lemon peels in 750 milliliters of 190 proof Everclear pure grain alcohol for 2 months in a cool dark location (i.e. closet).
  3. After two months, prepare a simple syrup by heating 6-¼ cups of distilled water until vapor starts coming off the water and then slowly mixing in 2-½ cups of pure cane sugar. Continue to stir until the resulting mixture is clear.
  4. Strain the lemon peels from the alcohol and combine with the simple syrup in a large container. If you want the limoncello to be bright yellow, mix the simple syrup with the lemon/alcohol mix while the simple syrup is still warm. If you wait for the simple syrup mix to reach room temperature and then mix, the resulting limoncello will be a deeper yellow color that is somewhat translucent. We prefer the bright yellow since it looks like liquid sunshine.
  5. Let the limoncello sit for a week to a month to settle and smooth out.
  6. Strain the Limoncello several times through coffee filters or cheese cloth to remove small particles.
  7. Now that you are done, pour the Limoncello into smaller bottles and put in freezer. When chilled, serve in chilled shot glasses. A little goes a long way since this version of the Limoncello is 60 proof (30 percent alcohol)!

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