Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    2.25 litres

Appears in

Limoncello and Linen Water

Limoncello and Linen Water

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2012

  • About

It’s such a great feeling to produce this beautiful liqueur, the colour of dusty lemons, on your very own. It is desirable to use unsprayed lemons from the Amalfi Coast, but get what you can.

We don’t need the lemons here, only the skins, so I will direct you to the Lemon pie. When your limoncello is ready you can make Limoncello sorbet or just drink it pure. This recipe is from, Massimo, Giovanni’s friend, and he got it from his Sicilian friend’s grandmother. There you go. I love this exchanging of recipes. It’s a good idea to mark the date on the carafe as you work, in case you don’t remember how long the lemon peel has been macerating.


  • 8 lemons
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) pure alcohol (most are between 96-98%)
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) sugar
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) water


You will need a large, wide-mouthed glass carafe of 3 litres (105 fl oz/12 cups) or so.

Wash the lemons very well and scrub the skins. Pare them with a potato peeler or paring knife into good strips taking care to only get the yellow part, not the white pith. Put them in the carafe, cover with the alcohol and leave to macerate for 1 week, covered. Give the carafe a shake every so often to make sure all the peel is covered.

Put the sugar and water in a saucepan and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer for just under 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using muslin or a fine strainer, filter the alcohol into a jug (we don’t need the lemon peel any more). Slowly pour the alcohol over the hot syrup in the pan, taking care as it will spit out at you. Cool completely. Pour back into the carafe, cover again and leave for 10-15 days. It will now be ready to drink. You can pour it into smaller clear glass bottles if you like, such as the bottle the alcohol came in.

Serve well chilled (you can even keep it in the freezer). It is lovely in summer.