Italian Lemoncello Recipe

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Linda Stradley's personal recipe for Italian Lemoncello that she and her husband make every year. LC should be steeped for 80 days.

it is a wonderful Palate cleanser or as an after dinner drink. LC is the generic name foran Italian citrus-based
Imon liqueur that is served well chilled in the summer months. LC is now considered the national drink Of Italy and can be found in stores and restaurants all over ITALY.
pronounced: lee mohn CHEH loh

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: Many


  • 15 lemons. Choose thick skinned lemons bec. They are easier to
  • Zest.
  • 2 (750ml) bottles 100- proof vodka or 1 (750 ml) bottle of Everclear
  • (190 proof) alcohol.
  • 4 c. Granulated sugar
  • 5 c. Filtered or distiller water


  1. Step 1: wash lemons with veg brush &hot water to remove any pesticides or wax ; pat lemons dry.
  2. carefully zest lemons with a zoster or veg peeler so there is no white pith on the peel.
  3. NOTE: Use only the outer part of the rind. The pith, the white part underneath th rind, is too bitter and would spoil the LC
  4. Step 2: In a large glass jar (1 gallon with lid),add vodka or Everclear alcohol.
  5. Add lemon zest as it is zested.
  6. Cover jar, let sit at room temp for at least 10 days and up to 40 days inn a cool dark place.
  7. NOTE: The longer the mix rests,the better the end taste will be. there is no need to stir, just wait.
  8. As the Lemoncello sits, the vodka slowly takes on the flavor and rich lemon color of the lemons zest.
  9. Step 3: In a large sauce pan, combine the sugar and water; bring to a gentle boil and let boil, approx 5-7 min. remove fr heat and let syrup cool before addingg it to Lemoncello mix.
  10. Add cooled sugar mix to Lemoncello in Step 1.
  11. cover jar and allow to rest another 10 to 40 days.
  12. Step 4: After the rest period, strain Lemoncello discarding the Lemon zest. Pour strained Lemonceello in bottles of your choice and seal tightly.
  13. Note: Coffee filters or cheesecloth work great for straining the mix.
  14. Moisten the filters before beginning the straining.
  15. Keep your bottles of Lemoncello in the freezer until ready to serve.
  16. serve ice cold.
  17. Roger Elliot of Cocoa Fla. sends his version of LC adding vanilla beans. Roger says," The vanilla adds a wonderful smoothness. I now add vanilla to every batch. I call it Elliomelliocello or Melliocellio.
  18. A variation: Mellocello recipe
  19. Thirty lemons
  20. 5 vanilla beans
  21. 2 bottles of 100 proof vodka
  22. 4 c sugar
  23. 5 c water
  24. split the vanilla beans and scrape out the seeds,adding the split beans and seeds to the alcohol when the lemon zest goes in. Then
  25. follow the dir for Lemoncello above.
  26. Ways to serve other than just drinking LC.:
  27. Mix with sparkling wine or mineral water and add a twist of lemon
  28. peel to serve as an aperitif.
  29. Toss with fresh berries or fruit.
  30. Over vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.


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