When Life gives you Lemons…make Limoncello

Blogging University, Cooking, Photography

Sunday started just like any other day. Until the rain started to come down and the wind gusts roughed up the neighborhood. The power flickered a few times, then suddenly the lights went dim, illuminating the house at seemingly half the power. It reminded me of a “brown out”. I had been contently sitting at the computer, sorting through my picture files. Next thing I knew, the internet connection failed, and the computer went dead.

Hours later the power returned, all the electronic clocks blinked and we were headed to a small local venue, the Aladdin Theater, to enjoy a unbelievable performance by the “2 Cellos”.

All was well! Or so it seemed. Monday morning, I went upstairs to work on my blogging assignments. Needing some photos for the blog, I opened the photo software. It was empty!! The power outage had corrupted the file, and to make a long story short, it took the better part of two days and tech support to help locate and repair all the images (around 200+ GB).

This nearly drove me to sample my freshly made Limoncello!

Lazy Limoncello

Lazy Limoncello

There are lots of variations on Limoncello. Over time I’ve combined methods and the following two versions are my favorite ones.

Here’s the recipe.

15 to 20 lemons, (I use organic Meyer lemons)

1 (750 ml) bottles of 100 % Vodka

4 to 6 cups white sugar (depending on the tartness of the lemons. Less for Meyers, more for regular ones)

4 cups of water

Wash the lemons thoroughly and then dry them. Cut the lemons into quarts and fill a big jar with them. Top off the container with the vodka and put on the lid. Leave in a dark place for about 2 months, shake every day to mix it up a bit.

After 2 months, strain the vodka into a container and reserve. Put the drained lemon pieces, the sugar and 4 cups of water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, while you stir and mash it up a bit. Turn off the flame and let the mixture cool.

When cool, strain through a fine meshed strainer lined with cheesecloth directly into the reserved vodka. Close the container, shake well and enjoy over a bit of ice on a hot summer night!

I’ve made another version where I steep only the lemon zest in the vodka, juice all the lemons and freeze the juice while the zest is steeping for about 6 weeks. Then I defrost the juice, add the sugar and a bit of water to make a simple syrup. Then I mix the two, let it sit another 6 weeks in the dark to further infuse. After that, I strain it, bottle it and share some with friends.

Limoncello in the making

Limoncello in the making


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My passions in life are vegetarian cooking, gardening, photography, writing, good books, traveling and nature. Thanks for stopping by, Sabine

18 thoughts on “When Life gives you Lemons…make Limoncello”

  1. Which version do you think makes the best tasting limoncello? I love the smell of Meyer lemons, I started to drool as I read the recipe.


    • The one with the zest only is a bit mellower, and has a essence of lemon flavor. The whole lemon one is a bit more tart and “fresh”. Maybe I’ll mix a bit of them tonight and do a taste test. You can’t go wrong with either. Beats even the expensive stuff at the store, in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course, no preservatives and you know exactly what’s in it. There’s nothing better than making your own.


  2. Oh, Sabine, I’m so sorry about the computer debacle. I always unplug during bad weather that can lead to power outages. I unplug my good sewing machines too. That’s when I get my reading done or work off the battery. Most people think I’m crazy but it’s an old habit from my lightening storm days. Then Limoncello looks luscious. Think I’ll have some. 🙂


  3. The island of Capri (Italy) is known for its lemons. They have BY FAR the best limoncello on the planet! It’s expensive but on a hot day, sitting in the shade, watching people go by while enjoying limoncello? Mmm… The best!


  4. Gordon Hubbard says:

    When we lived in Oregon City we had a power outage while I was on my computer. I ruined the hard drive. I have since put UPS (uninterruptible power supplies on all of my computers, routers, and on my tv and cable box? It is a little expensive at first to setup, but it give me piece of mind and time to shut things down orderly. Very sorry about you temporary loss, but glad you got it back.


    • Worth every minute of the wait. I bought some limoncello a few years back and it wasn’t nearly as good as the homemade stuff. Once the lemons are zested and steeping in the vodka, all you do is shake it up now and then. And smell it. The longer it sits, the more fragrant is gets. I’ll drink an extra sip for you next time I have some! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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