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Making Limoncello!

Cristina Soriano

My enamor with Italy has yet to be seized, so in an effort to create a little Italy in the West Village, I spent a few hours creating limoncello – my favorite summer aperitif!

When Ascanio and I were in Positano this summer, we finished most meals with sips of limoncello, and I loved every bit of it! The best lemons are found on the Amalfi Coast, so we completely immersed ourselves in all things lemon – feasting on seafood marinated in lemon, lemon tarts and cakes and lemon drinks and cocktails.

I snatched an Amalfitano recipe that I wanted to try immediately upon landing in US soil, and I was so surprised at how easy it was.

This recipe yields 2 ½ liters of limoncello – you’ll practically be bathing in it! So, if you'd rather, you can divide the recipe in half or you could produce it all and give it as a fun DIY Christmas gift. Just bottle it in small jars and garnish with a simple green bow!


1 liter Everclear Vodka (I used Titos)

15 lemons

6 cups of sugar

6 cups of water

Using a potato peeler, take all the lemon rids off the lemons. Make sure that there is no white pith on the peel – that would leave a bitter taste to the aperitif.

Place the rinds in a container and fill with the alcohol.

Cover the container and let it sit anywhere between four days and a month. I kept mine infusing for 3 weeks.

When your patience is up (for me, three weeks was a LONG time) and you’re itching to try some homemade limoncello, make a simple syrup with the water and sugar. Simply heat the sugar and water on a stove and stir until the sugar dissolves and the water has turned thick – into a syrup.

Once cooled, combine the simple syrup with the lemon infused vodka. Strain out the rinds.

Store the limoncello in a beautiful jar in the freezer. Enjoy!

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