4 Ingredient Homemade Limoncello: A Zesty Citrus Delight in a Bottle

Nothing says Summer like bright, crisp Limoncello. Here’s how to make this refreshing lemon aperitif at home .

a pile of lemons on a blue plate next to a bowl of sugar and a bottle of vodka


  • organic lemons
  • water
  • sugar
  • vodka
a pile of peeled lemons

Tips to Make Limoncello:

STEP 1: Grab a large jar with an airtight seal. I used a large BALL jar from the local hardware store. See similar HERE.

Then rinse and peel the lemons. You need to rinse, but not wash with soap which can wash off the oils which we want to make a really flavorful limoncello. Buy organic lemons if possible.

STEP 2: PEEL the lemons without taking any of the white pith with you. We only want the thin peel. Place all the peel into the large airtight jar and cover with vodka or grain alcohol. Top with the airtight cover. Place a dish towel over the entire thing and place in a cool dark space. Every day, shake the jar a bit to release the oils from the peel.

A sherry crystal glass  filed with yellow liquid and rimmed with lemon peel

STEP 3: After three weeks, make a simple syrup with sugar and water. Let the simple syrup cool. Then strain the peels from the vodka through a mesh strainer. The liquid released will be bright yellow. Gorgeous! Add the simple syrup to the vodka. Stir to combine and funnel into washed bottles. Place the bottles into the freezer.

Equipment needed to make 4 ingredient homemade Limoncello:

  • Airtight Glass Jar
  • Fine Mesh Strainer
  • Bottles with rubber stopper or cork- Buy the ones I used here. This brand comes with a funnel.
  • Dish towel
  • Vegetable peeler- Buy my favorite brand HERE

How to serve 4 ingredient Homemade Limoncello

  • Serve straight from the freezer
  • Pour into very small, sherry style, glasses
  • Do not add ice to the limoncello
  • Perfect after a heavy and hearty meal
  • This makes a perfect Mother’s Day, Wedding party, Bridal shower, or Holiday gift

What to do with all the Lemon Peel?

Rinse the lemon peels, pour into a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol, white vinegar and a few drops of essential oils to make a wonderful glass cleaner. No waste. Or put down your disposal to freshen the scent of your drain.

a bowl of sugar next to a few lemons and a glass measuring cup of water

Other lemon recipes to try:

A pile of lemons, a bottle of yellow liquid and a small sherry glass filled with limoncello

4 Ingredient Limoncello- Homemade Summer in a bottle

In just a few weeks, you can be drinking your own limoncello or make it for friends as a fantastic gift.
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Course: Cocktails, Summer Recipes
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: homemade limoncello
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 28 days 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4 Bottles
Calories: 70kcal


  • 1 liter vodka or grain alcohol
  • 10 large lemons use organic if possible. wash well
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 liter water


  • With a sharp vegetable peeler, peel the yellow rind from each of the lemons taking care not to remove the bitter pith (white part). Place the peels in a large gallon size jar with an airtight lid. Pour a liter of grain alcohol or vodka over the lemons. Cover tightly with the air tight lid. Wrap with a dish towel and place in a cool dark area. Shake the jar every day for three weeks to help the peel infuse with the alcohol.
  • After three weeks: make a simple syrup with the 2 cups of sugar and liter of water. Bring the water to a simmer, add the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Let cool.
  • Strain the lemon peel from the alcohol over a fine mesh strainer saving the delicious yellow liquid. Pour the simple syrup into the lemon infused alcohol. Funnel into sterilized bottles and seal with a rubber or cork top. Chill for an additional week or place into a freezer.
  • The Limoncello is ready to drink. Serve directly form the freezer pouring onto small glasses.
  • This make 4 bottles of Limoncello


Calories: 70kcal

How’s this for simple- vodka, sugar, lemons, water. That’s it.

After a heavy meal of pasta or a really big salad there is nothing more refreshing than to take light sips of refreshing Limoncello. And imagine how good it would be to pull your own homemade limoncello right form the freezer. I’ll show you how to make it. The hardest part- waiting.

I know.

Please- can I have a drink already. If kept in the fridge it will last up to 3 weeks.

You do not need to “percolate” the limoncello for the full three weeks if time is an issue. But try to let the vodka and peels infuse for at least 1 week. The longer you wait, the brighter the color, and the more intense the flavor.

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