2-Phase Homemade Limoncello Recipe

  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 72 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


Note: Vodka or grain alcohol? I have used both. Vodka is less potent, less body warming, and more subtle in flavor than grain alcohol. Both work well, but my preference is vodka. Unfortunately, vodka doesn’t cause the finished limoncello to glow the way grain alcohol does.


  • 2-lbs organic lemons
  • 1 750-ml bottle vodka or grain alcohol
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 ½ cups sugar


  1. Peel lemons with peeler, trying to avoid white pith if possible.
  2. Place the zest in one or two large glass mason jars and pour vodka over top.
  3. Let the zest sit in the vodka for 3 or 4 days shaking every so often. Strain the vodka, which will feel petrified, into a large bowl and discard the zest.
  4. Next, heat the water and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool completely. Add sugar-water mixture to strained vodka. Pour into bottles and store in freezer.
  5. Serve as is or topped with heavy cream.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Steep and Stir
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: limoncello, homemade, recipe, vodka, grain, alcohol, lemons, organic