How to make the Best Limoncello?…and New Arancello? Limoncello is a liqueur made with real organic lemons peels soaked in grain alcohol, for days. Then the peels are removed and a simple syrup is added to the mixture to complete its process.
Kept in the freezer, Limoncello is served chilled to adults during hot summer evenings as an after-dinner drink. And, after one sip, your family and friends will enjoy its soothing and refreshing citrus flavor!
What is Limoncello?
An Italian lemon liqueur, Limoncello is mainly produced in Southern Italy, and as a tradition, it is served chilled to adults during hot summer evenings as an after-dinner drink.
How to Make Limoncello? …and Arancello?
Limoncello is made from the peel of lemons mixed with sugar and grain alcohol and Arancello is made the same way with organic oranges.
So we decided to make a batch of our homemade Limoncello and Arancello for our family and friends to enjoy.
What kind of lemons and oranges do we need?
We use only organic lemons and oranges. If you have a lemon tree in your yard, that’s even better.
How do we drink it?
Italians love to drink their limoncello only chilled and even pour it in chilled shot glasses. They prefer to drink it straight, and slowly sip it to only every single drop. And, like vodka, it is best to keep Limoncello in the freezer all year long!
What does limoncello taste like?
It has a strong lemon flavor with a refreshing tang, but without bitterness. Limoncello is known as an after-dinner digestive, and it’s really good for you!
How much of it do we serve?
It’s best and recommended to serve this lemon liqueur in ice-cold cordial glasses, and pour only about one ounce into each glass.
It’s best to sip this ice-cold drink slowly and immerse with its refreshing aromatic scent and flavor to its fullest!
What kind of alcohol do we need?
If it is best and most preferred to use grain alcohol when making homemade limoncello. But if you cannot get your hands on a bottle, then you can use the alternative and the highest proof of Vodka.
How to store Limoncello and Arancello?
We recommend storing your limoncello and homemade arancello in the freezer, the Italian way! It’s the only way.
How long does a bottle last?
As a liqueur, it will last a long time, as long as it is kept in the freezer.
BEST Homemade Limoncello and NEW Arancello are made with only 4 ingredients!
For this recipe…
- Grain Alcohol: grain alcohol is needed to make Limoncello and it’s 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 grain alcohol.
- Organic Lemons: about 15 or more organic lemons are used to infuse with the grain alcohol, giving it an intense lemon flavor. Non-organic lemons tend to be coated in wax, and possibly even pesticides that make it difficult to infuse the lemon flavor.
- Granulated Sugar and Water: both are needed to make a simple syrup.
There is a simple science to making this, an 8 to 10-day easy process, and if you have the patience, the effort is worth it!
Here’s a GREAT TIP:
The ingredients given in our recipe are based on making the “lemon” version. But keep in mind, that you can make other flavors such as Arancello, just by substituting them with organic oranges.
You can even make our mom’s version of Tarancello, which is made with tangerines! We think our mom made up the name “Tarancello” because, in Italy, tangerines are really called mandarin! 😉
Best home-made limoncello and new “arancello” make the perfect gifts!
Instead of bringing a bottle of wine to a friend’s dinner party, bring a bottle of homemade Limoncello!
Your friends and family will be AMAZED if you made this! It’s worth the time and effort to make it, trust us!
*Follow along with the instructions or jump down to the bottom of this post for our full recipe card!
Ingredients for Best Home-Made Limoncello and NEW Arancello:
- 1.5 liter of Grain Alcohol, or high-quality of Vodka to substitute
- 15 organic lemons – (or 15 organic oranges for Arancello)
- 6 cups of sugar
- 1.5 liter of Water
- 6 (8 ounces) Mason Jars or one large Mason jar
*Quick Note: You may store Limoncello in additional small glass bottles or jars for storage.
You can find these jars on Amazon.
Directions on How to Make Home-Made Limoncello…
1. Wash the lemons thoroughly – scrub them clean of all outside residue.
2. Peel skins using a potato or vegetable peeler, carefully peeling only the skins without the pith. Then use a sharp paring knife to scrape out the pith. (The pith is the white part under the skin that causes the bitterness).
3. Place the peels into a large glass jar (or smaller size jars) with alcohol only.
4. Seal jars and write the date somewhere on the jars ( use stickers, it’s 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 day’s 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 the 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 stovetop pot, dissolve the sugar completely in the water on medium heat. Cool mixture to room temperature. DO NOT ADD THE ALCOHOL MIXTURE TO THE HOT POT.
2. Remove lemon peels from Alcohol jars and add the lemony alcohol to the sugar water mixture on the stovetop. 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 them in the freezer.
5. Limoncello should be kept in the freezer at all times until ready to serve. Must be served very cold, and will have a thicker consistency when served.
Yields: 6 jars of Limoncello
NOTES for SUCCESS…
- Keep in mind, when using high-quality grain alcohol, and high proof of Vodka (80 + proof), the process can take about 10 days (or more with Vodka) to make limoncello.
- And, lower-proof alcohols will take longer (about 4-6 weeks or longer).
- Also, when the lemon peels have lost most of their color, and the alcohol is a bright yellow, then you’re ready to proceed.
Options to use this delicious lemon liqueur …
- You can use it to make various lemon desserts, like our lemon pound cake…
- Also, if you need to, it can replace lemon extract in recipes…
- Make delicious spring and summer concoctions for cocktails…
…Thanks for PINNING!
MORE RECIPES and Ideas for LEMONS!
- Italian Lemon Cookies with Lemon Glaze
- Bakery-Style Lemon Raspberry Cake
- Fresh Watermelon Lemonade
- Angel Hair Pasta with Lemon Sauce
- Lemon Zucchini Poppy Seed Muffins
- Mom’s Best Chicken Piccata
- 1.5 liter of Grain Alcohol, or Vodka to substitute
- 15 organic lemons - (or 15 organic oranges for Arancello)
- 6 cups of sugar
- 1.5 liter of Water
- 6 (8 ounces) Mason Jars with lids or one large mason jar with a lid
- Wash the lemons thoroughly - scrub them clean of all outside residue.
- 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. (If you need to, use a pairing knife to remove the pith from the skins (that the white part of under the skin).
- Place the peels into a large glass jar with alcohol only.
- Seal the jar and write the date somewhere on the jar ( use stickers, it's easier).
- Place jar in a cool, dry, and DARK room for 8-10 days, slowly shaking the jar once daily to mix contents.
- 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.
To Complete the Process:
- In a stovetop pot, dissolve the sugar completely in the water on medium heat. Cool mixture to room temperature. DO NOT ADD ALCOHOL MIXTURE TO HOT POT.
- Remove lemon peels from Alcohol jars and add the lemony alcohol to the sugar water mixture on the stovetop. You will notice the color of the alcohol will change from clear to cloudy when added.
- Continue to stir until well mixed.
- Pour the mixture into tightly sealed mason glass bottles and store them in the freezer.
- Limoncello should be kept in the freezer at all times until ready to serve. Must be served very cold, and will have a thicker consistency when served.
- Yields: 6 jars of Limoncello