Limoncello (Lemoncello) the Italian way


r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Thanks, should be able to pick some up in MD on my round trip into VA next week and be ready to make a batch. If WF doesn't have meyers anymore I'll probably just try with whatever I can find.

Joe. P

TVWBB Member
Ray I’m not sure where exactly you are but we hop right over into Delaware from rt1 and 202 to Total Wine they have the 750 ml for around 16$ and 35$ for the 1.75L

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Thanks Joe - 202 and Rt1 is very close. I'm located in Havertown. Actually that's the one off Naaman's road. It's probably about 20 min. away If I jump on 95.

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Got a handle yesterday - thanks for the tip. Now I need to get started! After reading the thread sounds like using "regular" lemons rather than meyer lemons might be best?

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Ok, so a couple days in on my first batch. Curious as I've read through the thread that folks have said cloudy end result is pretty much the deal. Figuring that it's due to mixing in regular sugar. I do have organic cane sugar at the ready. The cool thing though is how that extraction is looking in the jars. It would be nice esthetically to maintain that translucence after the simple sugar is added.

If I add super fine or castor instead would I not end up with a nice clear liquid as I do when I do the same for Ice Tea, etc?

Also can I simply run the maceration through a linen/white towel if I don't have the cheesecloth or other suitable filter handy?

I've found of late that the white linen cloth with a twist has been really great as far as a substitute for a hat or other device. Actually better for this purpose IMHO. Don't know why I wouldn't do that instead of using some other straining implement or device.


New member
I as well had some cloudiness related to my 'cello until I started following the filtration process outlined in the limoncello quest link that someone posted earlier. He simply has you filter the finished 'cello through not only permanent coffee filters but also through paper/disposable coffee filter.

Per his instructions this is a longer process but the end product was a beautiful, golden, deep yellow color without any of the impurities that aren't filtered out through cheesecloth/linen (my old process). This also prevented any "ring-around-the-collar" of the bottle that I got when I filtered through the cheesecloth.

Hope this helps.

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Good to know for next time have 3 quarts now of muddy yellow lemoncello that tastes great.

I did use the linen that worked really well. Muddy color came from using the simple sugar made from the organic cane as it has a brownish color. No ring and no other sediment to speak of. I think if I used the super fine sugar it would be different.

Not a huge issue but I'll look at another final process next time.

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I soak in empty bottles or jars. I bottle in the empty grain alc bottles along with whatever empty vodka bottles I have. A decent vodka for drinking - and a great bottle for limoncello, especially for gifts - is 360. Has a wired flip top that's cool.

It's kind of like this one, I got at World market (this one is smaller and has grapefruit vinaigrette in it that I made):



New member
Originally posted by JHunter:
What containers are you guys using for curing, and for bottling?

Pics would be great.



I do the same as Kevin (I haven't been given permission to attach pics yet) but I found a bunch of wired, flip top bottles at World Market as well for like $5 each. They were a little more than a pint in volume.

I cure the limoncello in large plastic/glass sun tea pitchers with the spouts at the bottom which make it easy for bottling.

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Made my first recipe last week. Used 2 quart wide mouth ball jars for the extraction - rind of 6 lemons in each jar.

I used the empty 1.75 litre Everclear bottle and one of the quart jars for the finished product. The quart jar filled about 1/2 to 3/4. It's already gone

Figure I'll continue to use the EC bottles until I find nicer ones I like for gifts, etc.

Can't wait to try out some Limoncello salad dressing. I have to say I like this home made version than the commercial versions I've purchased. Much more smooth and better overall flavor IMHO.

I'd like to try the next batch with Meyer lemon to check the difference. I went with Kevin's lowered sugar amount. Liked it, don't know that I would use the higher amount based on this batch. You can always add more sugar on use if there's some reason I would want it sweeter.
We are currently enjoying our second batch. First batch was made with vodka and the second batch was with everclear. The everclear batch was the better. Both were good! We have a batch grapefruit and a batch of lime soaking. This could get addicting.

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Originally posted by J. (Archer) Stapleton:
We are currently enjoying our second batch. First batch was made with vodka and the second batch was with Everclear. The Everclear batch was the better. Both were good! We have a batch grapefruit and a batch of lime soaking. This could get addicting.

It is addicting! !'m on my 4th batch now. I've gone to using "regular" or superfine sugar instead of organic cane. Mostly because of the color. Not a fan of the brownish color imparted by the organic cane sugar.

I'm happy with the mods to the amount of sugar that Kevin Kruger introduced. I've been "collecting" 360 brand Vodka bottles to use as empties and have been also using Crystal Head vodka bottles. Cool bottles for distributing to friends. Bring back the empty please.

Funny thing, while in Italy for 3 weeks (got back last weekend) I sampled Limoncello there in small trattorias, osterias, etc that actually make their own. Have to say this recipe with Kevin's tweaks is equal or better, and with my adjustment to "regular" sugar has same or better color.

Using Everclear is the best IMHO and find myself with that in stock now, my Son finds that hilarious.

One thing I also found is that I prefer it room temp or out of the fridge rather than from the freezer. From the freezer the alcohol is more "in your face" if you will than the other ways.

Might have something to do with a partial separation of water/alcohol that takes place and then in the mouth the alcohol evaporates so much quicker is my guess. I do like the viscosity that freezing brings though.

Anyway this has been a great resource and has me looking at different uses such as mixed drinks and salad dressings for limoncello. In the past I tried to emulate a limoncello salad dressing from a local Italian trattoria with poor results because of the "pump" of oil that was apparently used in the commercial product.

This recipe is better than any commercial product I have had.

Kudos to Mike for kicking this off.

One funny story though is consistently when I tried Limoncello at a place I would ask if they make it themselves or if it was commercial. I'd often tell them if I like it and would offer that I made my own as well, etc. They would ALWAYS ask how long I kept the rind in the grain alcohol. They would always expect my answer to be in weeks rather than days. It was obvious that the traditional method is weeks, even though I know better from experience that 4-6 days is plenty from this thread. Tradition is perhaps keeping them from moving from that time in the grain.

Now we need another post that tells us how to make natural coconut and or pistachio gelatto. That's something else I experimented with in Italy. The gelaterrias (sp) are everywhere but only a few do it right IMHO. We would ask from locals in the different regions and the difference was amazing much like you would find here with ice cream in terms of quality, flavor, etc as it applies to commercial vs. small batch.
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Ray, I would love for a thread on gelato. I've been working for months now on replicating a gelato that I had at a chain gelato place (Paciugo - which I think is a very comparable gelato to some of the better "in my opinion" places in Italy & Europe). They have a Panna Cotta/Italian Wedding Cake gelato that I think is phenomenal. But I'm interested in general in anyone's recipes. I'm willing to share mine in a thread.

r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Yeah, Justin. Gotta start doing some research. Something to do over the winter. I'm going to concentrate on two simple flavors. Coconut and Pistachio for now.

Ron... L.

TVWBB Super Fan
I've found a new source of swing top bottles. Previously, I bought the half and one-liter bottles at World Market for $5 and $6 a pop. While cruising through a wine store last week (Total Wine) I found Lorina (French) soda in 750ml. swing top bottles. The soda is quite good and is not nearly as sweet as american soda. The blood orange and lemonade flavors are highly recommended.

The best part? It is $4.99/bottle and these swing tops are PERFECT for lemoncello. I also like the 750ml. size better and the closing mechanism is superior to the WM bottles.


r benash

TVWBB Emerald Member
Good tip Ron, Thanks. Have one of those near me in Delaware. Cheaper than 360 brand Vodka bottles
Maybe less fun though making them go empty