Limoncello is a classic Italian lemon liqueur, that is normally served cold as a digestive. To make this at home, make sure you wash out your empty bottle of Rustico with plenty of hot soapy water, to remove all traces of olive oil and rinse several times, alternatively clean in a dishwasher.

Categories: Drinks

Serves: 1 Litre Preparation time: 2 weeks Cooking time: 20 minutes plus 2 weeks macerating



  • 500 ml pure grain alcohol or vodka
  • 5 large unwaxed lemons, washed

For the sugar syrup

  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 400 ml water


  1. Pare the zest from the lemons, using a vegetable peeler, being careful not to include any white pith as this will make the limoncello bitter.
  2. Put the zest in a large clean jar and pour over the alcohol. Seal with a tight-fitting lid and store out of direct sunlight for at least 8 days and up to 2 weeks, shaking the jar daily.
  3. To make the sugar syrup, place the sugar and water in a medium pan. Place over a medium heat and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Let the syrup simmer until boiling then boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
  4. Strain the lemon infused alcohol into a large bowl or jug, through a sieve, to remove the zest.
  5. Gradually stir in the cooled sugar syrup, tasting after you have added about 350 ml, you will probably need all the syrup.
  6. Pour into the cleaned bottle using a funnel and seal. Store in the fridge or you can place in the freezer for a few hours before serving in vodka or shot glasses.