Prep: 15 mins Ready to drink in 2 weeks


Makes about 2 litres

Make up a batch of this boozy lemony drink - it's great as a homemade gift or poured over ice cream

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 5 unwaxed lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 1l bottle vodka



    Originally associated with Russia, Slavonic, Baltic and Scandinavian countries, vodka has become…

  • 750g caster sugar
  • 700ml boiling water


  1. Pare the zest from all the lemons, taking care not to include any white pith. Put the zest in a large clean jar and pour over the vodka. Cover with a tightly fitting lid and leave for a week, shaking the jar each day.

  2. Put the sugar in a heatproof bowl and pour over the boiling water, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the vodka and peels and leave for a further week, shaking the jar regularly.

  3. Strain into decorative bottles, adding a few strips of lemon zest to each bottle.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (38)

jimafblack59's picture

My daughter made this for Christmas and we have just made another two batches. We used basic vodka from a discounter as it came out well in a recent vodka review. Easy to make and superior to most of the supermarket ones I've tried. It does not have the same chemically created yellowness as the bought stuff but that's got to be a good thing.

jb5370's picture

Very easy to make but very, very sweet. Would benefit from being served straight from the freezer as even from the fridge it was a bit sickly. It is quite syrupy and as someone said below, would perhaps be better in a dessert. Luckily Good Food has some recipes using limoncello!

FoodFlav's picture

Made it for my Kids and they love it... Beautiful and so easy.

Thanks :)

TaraLazet88's picture

Made it as Christmas gifts and everyone was very impressed. It also tastes so much better than store-bought and it was very easy to make!

becca88's picture

Incredibly easy and quick to make but far too sweet (even after spending a day in the freezer). It's more of a syrup than a drink so will try it in a dessert.

lydia8601's picture

Made this for my Mum for Christmas last year and went down well with the whole family.

freyajane9's picture

Just starting to make this and have used lemons for barney desmazery's lemonade.
Looking forward to both drinks

darrengreen22's picture

Made a batch of these for Christmas presents and they were a massive hit! Far superior to the shop bought stuff, much "fresher" tasting, no washing up liquid flavours here!
Dangerously easy to make too, it might just be a regular!
Just bear in mind that you'll need a 3 litre jar to make it (or 2 x 1.5L that I used).

emmagraceyates's picture

I'm nearly halfway through making my batch and I have used a bottle of Eristoff vodka which is around 40%, and it looks like it's going well so far!

mcg5's picture

Can this be made with normal Red Label Smirnoff (37.5%)? Similar recipes on the web state you must use 100% proof colourless alcohol

durrells's picture

Great recipe and with several lemon trees I have no problem with a constant supply of un-waxed lemons. It must be drunk ice cold. I am really struggling to understand why anyone would throw the vodka bottle away and go to a shop and buy empty bottles?

ajc999's picture

Beautiful and so easy. It made two full bottles of drink so left the second one in the fridge for a few months and it tasted even better !

debluvsfood's picture

Lovely :)

debluvsfood's picture

Lovely :)

kipperslippers's picture

Received as a gift, used it on Ice cream and in hot toddys (1/3 scotch 1/3 ginger wine 1/6 limoncello 1/6 ginger ale) worked a treat, but the limoncellos a little sweet for me to drink neat :-)

gervais's picture

Made these for Christmas gifts for colleagues and had a little left over for myself. It absolutely delicious poured over ice cream much better than the commercial stuff and cheaper. Looking at using it in a lot more recipies

gervais's picture

Made these for Christmas gifts for colleagues and had a little left over for myself. It absolutely delicious poured over ice cream much better than the commercial stuff and cheaper. Looking at using it in a lot more recpies.

tashwa's picture

Doh! Just saw the answer...

tashwa's picture

Does anyone know if I leave the lemon zest in, or do I need to strain it at some point??

littlegreendragon13's picture

I made this for Christmas presents last year and everyone loved it! It was so simple to make, I can see myself making this again very soon!!


Questions (4)

sarahabe's picture

Don't have a jar big enough, can I use a saucepan and just stir it daily?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi sarahabe you could use anything large enough to hold the quantity as long as it has a lid or can be sealed tightly with cling film between stirring. Alternatively split the batch between multiple jars or bottles. Hope you enjoy it! 

june65too's picture

Can I store limoncello bottled and sealed in dark cool cupboard and for how long ? I am hoping to give some away for Christmas. this is my first attempt !

goodfoodteam's picture

Yes you can. If you make sure you sterilise the bottles first, it will keep well for a long time, about 9-12 months.

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