Best Home-Made Limoncello and NEW Arancello

Best Home-Made Limoncello and New Arancello ~ are made with real organic lemons or oranges, sugar and grain alcohol.  An Italian tradition, served to adults during hot summer evenings, limoncello is normally served chilled as an after dinner liqueur. It is made from the peel of lemons mixed with sugar and grain alcohol.

So we decided to make a batch for our friends to enjoy.

We use only organic lemons, or if you have a lemon tree in your yard, that is even better.  Like vodka, it is best to keep limoncello in the freezer all year long!  It has a strong lemony flavor with a refreshing tang, but without the bitterness. Limoncello is known as an after dinner digestive, and it’s really good for you!

Grain alcohol is not easily obtainable here in the US, because it is only legal in certain states.  However, if you can’t find it, you can substitute Vodka for the grain. There is a simple science into making this, an 8 to 10 day easy process, and if you have the patience, the effort is worth it!  Your friends and family will be AMAZED you made this!

We look forward to making more flavors this summer and sharing them with you.

Here’s a TIP:  The ingredients given in our recipe are based on making the “lemon” version. You can make flavors such as Arancello, just by substituting with oranges, or even Tarancello made with tangerines!  We think our mom made up the name “Tarancello” because in Italy, tangerines are really called mandarini!


Best Home-Made Limoncello and NEW Arancello

  • 1.5 liter of Grain Alcohol, or Vodka to substitute
  • 15  organic lemons – (or 15 organic oranges for Arancello)
  • 6  cups sugar
  • 1.5 liter of Water
  • 6 Sealable Jars or one large sealable jar

You may store Limoncello in additional small glass bottles or jars for storage.
You can find these sealable jars at TARGET STORES.

1.  Wash the lemons thoroughly – scrub them clean of all outside residue.
2. Peel skins using a potato peeler, carefully peeling only the skins without the pith.  The pith is the white part under the skin that causes bitterness.
3.  Place the peels into a large glass jar with alcohol only.
4.  Seal jar and write the date somewhere on the jar ( use stickers, its easier).
5.  Place jar in a cool, dry and DARK room for 8-10 days, slowly shaking the jar once daily to mix contents. 

NOTE:  As the days progress, you will see the alcohol become yellower in color, and the peels begin to turn white.  That is because the oils of the lemons are being removed from the peels and are now infusing into the alcohol.  The longer the peels are left in the liquid, the yellower and more lemony the flavor.

** When you have decided that the liquid is yellow enough, after 8-10 days, then it is time to complete the process.

1.  In a stove top pot, dissolve the sugar completely in water on medium heat.  Cool mixture to room temperature.  DO NOT ADD ALCOHOL MIXTURE TO HOT POT.

2.  Remove lemon peels from Alcohol jars and add the lemony alcohol to sugar water mixture on stove top.  You will notice the color of the alcohol will change from clear to cloudy when added. 

3.  Continue to stir until well mixed.

4.  Pour the mixture into tightly sealable glass bottles and store in freezer.  

5.  Limoncello should be kept in freezer at all times until ready to serve.  Must be served very cold, and will have a thicker consistency when served.

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  • Reply
    Cooking Creation
    June 24, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Wow! This looks SO good! Thank you for the sweet comments on my blog… this is my first time to your site and I am impressed! So many wonderful recipes 🙂 I'm your newest follower and look forward to seeing more recipes from you! Take care!

  • Reply
    Maris (In Good Taste)
    June 24, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    This looks like my kind of drink!I am so glad you visited my blog so I was able to fing yours!

  • Reply
    June 24, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    I love Limoncello and would love to try this! Thanks for the recipe. I'm new to your blog and will have to add it to my google reader. Very nice blog!

  • Reply
    June 25, 2011 at 2:06 am

    We've been wanting to make this forever!!

    Now I know which recipe to go to when we do (which will be very soon =)).

  • Reply
    June 26, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    I'm so glad that you shared this recipe! I've always wanted to make some for gifts…I'm especially excited to try the Arancello!

    P.S. Thanks for visiting ShawnsPlate.com and for your kind comments 🙂 Your site is lovely and I am looking forward to trying some of your incredible recipes!

  • Reply
    June 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Oh my I have never made alcohol before … I am intrigued.

  • Reply
    June 27, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    What a beautiful drink! It looks so yummy and refreshing. I would love to give this a try. Thanks so much for visiting me and for your kind comment. I'm following along with you now.

  • Reply
    June 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    This looks like an excellent refreshing drink for summer. It may be difficult to stop at one drink!

  • Reply
    nancy at good food matters
    June 28, 2011 at 2:08 am

    I have made Limoncello before with Meyer Lemons, but I love the idea of making Arancello–or your mom's special "Tarancello"—how sweet is that!

    Thanks for visiting my blog; I shall enjoy exploring yours!

  • Reply
    June 6, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    This sounds really refreshing. Where can I find the grain alcohol?

  • Reply
    June 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Hi Anonymous!

    We get grain alcohol in CT. But,I googled and this is what we found….

    Grain alcohol or Everclear which is a colorless liqueur that is sold in either 151 proof or 190 proof. Everclear is made from a corn derived alcohol and water. It is legal in the following states: Virginia, California, Iowa, Michigan, Florida, Minnesota, West Virginia, Washington and North Dakota.
    I hope this helps, but keep in mind, you can make Limoncello using Vodka – it works fine! Enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Can you mix the fruits?

    • Reply
      June 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      Hi Blb Travel! I wonder how it would turn out, since we have never mixed the fruits together with this process, I would say – go for it! Thanks for stoppying by!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    June 30, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    This is a great post! Love your mom's recipes 🙂 I think the variations with orange or tangerines sounds pretty great! I made limoncello once and still have some in the freezer – it would be a good time to have some! Have a great 4th of July!

    • Reply
      June 30, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      Thanks Tricia !! You too have a great holiday this weekend!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    July 3, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    I've only made Limoncello once and this is a good reminder to make more. I'd love to try the Arancello too!

    • Reply
      July 5, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      OMG Sue the arancello is fabulous! We hope you get to make some soon! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 3, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    It looks drinks it makes me kind of feel thirsty Nice sharing

  • Reply
    July 7, 2015 at 12:50 am

    My all time favorite drink.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Ours too! Especially summertime!

  • Reply
    Roz Corieri Paige
    July 20, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Love limoncello! I had the pleasure of taking a limoncello class with my mother in Positano. I'm amazed at how easy this is to make. Thanks for the recipe!

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