Homemade Limoncello {Part Two}

Homemade limoncello is easy and delicious!

Homemade Limoncello {Part Two} by Nutmeg Nanny

Back in August I started making limoncello and now it’s finally time to complete step two. I know it seems to take a long time to make this luscious lemon concoction but as the saying goes “good things come to those who wait.” So while yes, you will wait, you will be rewarded with a delicious liquor before Christmas.

In step one of limoncello making we combined the skins of 15 lemons and one full bottle of 190 proof grain alcohol and 80 proof vodka. After letting that sit for over 40 days the oil in the lemon skins has infused with the alcohol and made a very fragrant (not tasty…just yet) lemon alcohol. You know you are ready to move to step two when scoop out a peel and can snap it in half like a potato chip. If the peel is still flexible and can bend with out breaking put the lid back on the jar and try again in another week.

After you have decided it is time to move on to step two the first thing you will do is make a sugar syrup with 4 1/2 cups sugar and 3 cups distilled water or filtered water. Do not use mineral water. After is has boiled for 5 minutes let is sit and cool to room temperature.

Homemade Limoncello {Part Two} by Nutmeg Nanny

As the sugar syrup is cooling it is time to start taking the lemon peels out of the alcohol. Try to be as careful as possibly not to break the peels into a lot of small pieces. This will make it easier and less messy when you filter your liquor.

Homemade Limoncello {Part Two} by Nutmeg Nanny

Homemade Limoncello {Part Two} by Nutmeg Nanny

After all or most of the peels have been successfully removed it is time to start filtering the limoncello. To do this you will need another clean glass gallon jar, a large funnel and #4 coffee filters.

Homemade Limoncello {Part Two} by Nutmeg Nanny

To strain slowly start pouring liquid from the first glass into the filtered funnel that is sitting on top of gallon glass jar two.  Do not fill to high because filters will clog quickly.  This process will take a little bit of time.  Fill funnel about half full, wait for it to be mostly empty and pour more liquid in.  When filters clog simply remove from funnel and replace with new filter.

Homemade Limoncello {Part Two} by Nutmeg Nanny

Homemade Limoncello {Part Two} by Nutmeg Nanny

Homemade Limoncello {Part Two} by Nutmeg Nanny

Halfway through the filtering process I took pictures  show how much clearer the infusion became.

Homemade Limoncello {Part Two} by Nutmeg Nanny

Homemade Limoncello {Part Two} by Nutmeg Nanny

After the infusion is filtered into the second glass jar it is time to clean and wash the original jar.  After the jar has been cleaned you have to filter the infusion back into the original jar. The process is the same. Use a large funnel and a #4 coffee filters.

Homemade Limoncello {Part Two} by Nutmeg Nanny

After the infusion has been transferred back to the original glass it is time to incorporate the cooled sugar syrup.

Homemade Limoncello {Part Two} by Nutmeg Nanny

Homemade Limoncello {Part Two} by Nutmeg Nanny

After the sugar syrup has been added it is time to stir the infusion and tightly put on the lid.  Return to a cool dry place for another 40 days to start the mellowing out process that combines the alcohol infusion with the sugar syrup to create Limoncello.

Homemade Limoncello {Part Two} by Nutmeg Nanny

Ok ladies and gentleman this is step two of the Limoncello process.  In 40 or so the limoncello will be ready.  If you are interested in making your own limoncello please refer to my first post – homemade limoncello {part one} so you can get started correctly.


Homemade Limoncello {Part 2}

Yield: about 1 gallon

Prep Time: 1 min

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hours 10 minutes


A very clean and dry gallon glass jar or pitcher
Large supply of unbleached #4 cone coffee filter
Large funnel
Slotted spoon or pasta server
4-1/2 cups white sugar
3 cups distilled water


Day one

Dissolve sugar in water and bring to boil over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes.

Set syrup aside to cool. It must be room temp before adding to infusion.

Use a slotted spoon or pasta server gently scoop lemon peels from the infusion and discard. Try to avoid creating small pieces that will make straining more difficult, try not to break peels as you remove them.

Using the larger funnel and #4 coffee filters, slowly strain infusion through filters into large pitcher. This is a messy process. The filters will clog quickly and you will have to change them frequently.

Rinse and dry original gallon jar.

Repeat straining process, transferring infusion from pitcher to original gallon jar by straining again through #4 coffee filters.

Return filtered infusion to jar and add COOLED syrup.

Return to cool dry place for 40 days to begin mellowing process that combines alcohol infusion with syrup to create the limoncello.

After the 40 days the limoncello will be ready to drink. Keep stored in a cool dark place or the freezer. I bottled mine for a few friends and kept a small jar in the freezer.

27 Responses to “Homemade Limoncello {Part Two}”

  1. #
    Emily — November 1, 2009 at 3:31 am

    I had a glass of this when I went to France and it was delicious! I’d love to try making it sometime.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — November 2nd, 2009 @ 9:34 am

      It’s so easy you should give it a try. The best part is you don’t have to go to France just to drink it 🙂

  2. #
    Cucinista — November 1, 2009 at 5:58 am

    Looks good and evil all at the same time. Limoncello makes me think of the southern coast of Italy — thanks for the memory!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — November 2nd, 2009 @ 9:35 am

      Haha I have heard it can be quite evil in large quantities.

  3. #
    Heavenly Housewife — November 1, 2009 at 9:04 am

    So cool that you decided to make your own. Let us know how it comes out.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — November 2nd, 2009 @ 9:35 am

      I will. I’m hoping it taste great after these 40 days…I guess I just have to wait.

  4. #
    Faith — November 1, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Oooh, it’s such a pretty color! It looks like a long process, but definitely worth it. And I love your cute gallon jugs with the little handle on the top at the neck…they remind me of the jugs that my grandpa used to keep his port wine in…except he always used green glass jugs for some reason.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — November 2nd, 2009 @ 9:36 am

      Thanks! The color really is pretty. It’s so cool that your grandfather used to make port wine. I got the bottles from my Dad…no idea where he got them.

  5. #
    doggybloggy — November 1, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    you are inspiring me to make this delicious concoction – yours looks like its coming along nicely

    • nutmegnanny replied: — November 2nd, 2009 @ 9:36 am

      Do it! It’s a fun experience 🙂

  6. #
    Reeni — November 1, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    It’s turning out so good! I’m so impressed! It will be ready just in time to spread the holiday cheer. Excellent job.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — November 2nd, 2009 @ 9:37 am

      Thanks! I have a feeling limoncello can spread a lot of cheer 🙂

  7. #
    Natasha - 5 Star Foodie — November 2, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Homemade limocello sounds wonderful! ON my way to check out the new site!

  8. #
    girlichef — November 2, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    I have been wanting to make this forever!! I am so jealous…it looks awesome…it’s calling me, LOL!! 😀

  9. #
    Amanda — November 2, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Holy cow, I’m worn out just reading that! 🙂

  10. #
    Blond Duck — November 2, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    I could never do that.

    I’m still drooling over your pie. Don’t tell my sister, but she made coconut cream pie over the weekend and I would have much preferred yours.

  11. #
    Jessica — November 2, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    This looks amazing! I love limoncello and just yesterday had an amazing limoncello bread pudding at Carabba’s….maybe an idea for left over finished product?? I would love to see you create that, you are so talented!

  12. #
    Rylan @ Art and Apetite — November 3, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Oh my!!! Thanks for posting this! I enjoyed reading the step by step procedure. Thanks a lot!

  13. #
    Miranda — November 3, 2009 at 6:36 am

    Oh how lovely. This will be great to make for the holidays. Well done.

  14. #
    Cakelaw — November 3, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    What a fab idea – I can’t wait to see the end result!

  15. #
    Barbara — November 5, 2009 at 9:03 am

    This reminds me of our trip to Italy where it seems every little shop was making/selling their own limoncello. Good luck!

  16. #
    CD — January 7, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Ok, I realize this thread is a bit old, but was hoping for some insight anyway.
    I just made my first batch of Limoncello using an old recipe from my grandfather and although it came out great, I still have some questions.
    Basically, my recipe said to zest, let sit, add simple syrup, let sit and THEN filter.
    After the filtering it looked clear & orange-ish like your step prior to adding the simple syrup. Mine never looks like your finished product.
    Not sure why.
    Also, is there a way to filter quicker than #4 coffee filters? I swear that they clog up super quick and barely trickle the limoncello thru. It took several hours to filter a gallon and I kept replacing the coffee filters. BTW, I use them for my 3rd & 4th filtering passes.
    As an aside, my grandfathers recipe called for filtering the everclear.
    Do you think that is necessary?
    Thanks for any help!

  17. #
    Ephraim — November 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Haha. Again, I know this is an old post, but I couldn’t help but be fascinated by the fact that you used both everclear and vodka. In my two previous attempts at making Limoncello I just used everclear and then diluted it post-filtration. Does using both everclear and vodka make a better final product?
    I also loved the little adage about the infusion being ready when the peels snap!


    • Brandy replied: — November 10th, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

      Hello Ephraim. I think using both the everclear and vodka helps give the limoncello a nice pure flavor. However, I know a lot of people who just use vodka and really like it.


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