Ah Limoncello, just thinking about this syrupy lemon digestiv transports me somewhere hot and I imagine looking out onto a beautiful lemon grove landscape. Instead the reality is that I’m making it for Christmas gifts at my house in Brighton, where the weather is cold, damp and it’s now dark at 4pm. It is nice to have a little daydream though.

I know people (Italians, mainly) will say this is not the real Limoncello because they are not the lemons from the Amalfi coast and therefore you cannot call this Limoncello blah blah blah. Well we live on an island in the Atlantic sea where we can grow a good carrot underground, but giant juicy lemons just ain’t happening. I make do with the best lemons I can find, which are usually from a local Turkish shop or greengrocer.

This recipe is super easy and a lot cheaper than buying a branded bottle from a supermarket, but you’ll have to reside with the fact it’s not authentically Italian.




750ml Good Quality Vodka

8 Unwaxed Lemons

2 Sticks of Lemonrass

220g Sugar

350ml Water


  1. Sterilise a large preserving jar or bottle big enough for 1 litre of liquid.
  2. Zest the lemons and crush the lemongrass then put them into the bottle and pour in the vodka
  3. Put the sugar and the water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Leave to cool, then add to the lemon zest mixture.
  4. Seal the glass jar and leave mixture to infuse for about 2 weeks. Make sure to agitate the jar every few days.
  5. Strain the Limoncello, ideally through some muslin, but you can use a sieve then pour into bottles. Best served ice cold from the freezer.

2 responses to “Limoncello

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