As I mentioned yesterday, both Kim and Ben are not well, but never fear, I have my nurses hat on and am looking after them both.  Kim was sick of laying in bed, so I trundled her off to the lounge room, threw on the blankets, and she started watching Under The Tuscan Sun.

Half way through the movie, the main character, who was eying up some hot Italian lad, was told about this wonderful drink called Limoncello which she proceeded to drink.  Kim then asked if I could make some.  The reply was of course I can!

With lots of lemons on the tree, and a bottle of vodka in the cupboard, I set myself the task of making this luscious lemon liqueur.  After a bit of research on the net, the consensus was a recipe that goes kind of like this.  I borrowed the directions from but changed the amounts because I didn’t think it was sweet  or strong enough.

Limoncello (Gav style)


9 large smooth thick skinned lemons
700ml bottle of Vodka or Grappa
1 1/2 cups of white sugar
2 cups of water
juice of one lemon


Pick the lemons, then grate the rind of all lemons.  Be careful not to get any pith as I am told it will make the liqueur bitter.

Once you have all the rind place in a big glass container that you can seal or otherwise the alcohol will evaporate. 

Then pour in the alcohol and seal the jar.

Let it rest while you perform the next step.

I love the way it changed colour over the course of a couple of hours.  Note the rind sitting on the bottom.  Some recipes state that you must leave it at this step for 30-40 days to infuse the flavour, however, I stumbled across a few Italian recipes that I translated, and they added the sugar syrup the same day.

So add the sugar and water and stir whilst heating on a medium heat.  Bring to the boil.

Boil without stirring for 3 minutes.  You will find the syrup will thicken a little.  Take it off the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and let it cool to room temperature.  Do not add the syrup to the rind mixture whilst hot.  You will burn off the alcohol, which kind of defeats the purpose of this drink.

My syrup cooled after two hours, so I gently poured it into the rind/vodka mixture.

I gave it a gentle shake to mix, and left it at that.  Sealed the lid tightly and tipped it upside down to check for leaks.

I popped it into a dark corner in the kitchen where I will remember to mix it by shaking once a week over the course of a month.  Apparently, it is then ready to drink, however I did see recipes that recommended two months.

As for the rest of the left over lemons, I squeezed them and made a drink for Kim.  We are look forward to drinking the Limoncello on a nice spring day!  I still have a few lemons left on the tree, so Kim has convinced me to go and buy another bottle of vodka to make another batch.  Might try Grappa this time, to make it a little more authentic.  If it is as good as my Cumquat Brandy, then it should be a ripper!

Has anyone else made this liqueur before?  How did it turn out?


  1. says

    Hi Gavin,
    wonderful, I’ll try this recipe next time I have a lemon surplus. For some 20 years I have been making my own home-made liquers: cumquat brandy, cherry brandy, apricot ratafia, plum shrub, cherry cordial cumquat cointreau – through soaking fruit in different spirit beverages plus the addition occasionally of other flavourings and spices. Sometimes I leave the fruits and alcohol to mature in the airtight jar for several years without any deleterious effects creating full flavoured spirits and very alcohol fruits at the end (perfect for adding to fruit cakes or flavouring ice cream in summer).

    • Gavin Webber says

      Sounds delicious Frere. I have made cumquat brandy before, and it is amazing. I left it in the jar for 12 months before trying it and it blew me away!

  2. says

    Haven’t made it but do drink it – regularly…vbg. Like Erica says pop it in the freezer then serve it in glasses that have also been in the freezer. Amazing!!!!!!!

  3. says

    hi gav – i make blackberry/sloe gin – decant one bottle gin/vodka into two kilner jars, add the same weight of blackberries as vodka – put lid on and shake gently – give it a gentle shake every time you pass – make in august – ready at christmas – i give this as presents

  4. says

    This looks like a much better option than going to the chemist for this sore throat I have woken up with.
    Don’t you just love the way generous family member love to share (their illnesses).

  5. says

    Hi there Gavin,
    Love your blog and read it regularly, keep up the great work!
    I just wanted to say that I also make Limoncello from our lemons and you’ll love it when its done, it tastes fantastic. I soak the rind in the vodka for 14 days, then strain out the rind, add the sugar syrup and leave for another three weeks before bottling it up, but there are so many different variations out there, I’m sure they all work. Just a side note, did you know you can drink it at room temp. or also keep a bottle in the freezer for summer, it partially freezes and it becomes this delicious refreshing alcoholic slurpee! also, my dad made a batch using mandarins last year and it was just sooo smooth. But enjoy your batch, it takes a little while but definitely worth the wait!
    Oops, sorry for the essay,
    From Erica

  6. says

    Oh Gav I think you would look great in a nurses uniform, a mens one of course ;]

    *Sigh* I loved that movie and think you are a real gem making it for your lovely lady!

    I am also full of the dreaded lurgy that’s doin the rounds up this way.



  7. says

    Oh Gav, you have put a disturbing image in my head of you in the whole nurses uniform…I think I need some of your Lemoncello to forget!


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