Homemade Limoncello

Ever have an after-dinner sour limoncello at a fancy Italian restaurant and wonder what it really is and how to recreate the delicious drink at home?

Well it’s easy as 1, 2, 3 (plus some waiting time) to make this digestif (after-dinner beverage thought to aid digestion)! This limoncello recipe is from the delightful Karla Vasquez at PK Custom Designs. Karla and I met through The Rising Tide Society – a worldwide network of creatives and small business owners that was established by my amazing wedding photographers Natalie Franke and Krista Jones in order to foster community and support.

It’s been so fun to connect and meet new friends through this group! So when Karla said that she makes homemade limoncello (lemon-infused vodka essentially), I knew I wanted to try out her recipe.

On top of that, she creates custom labels – for her limoncello, for wine bottles, beer bottles, candles, etc. – that are perfect for unique wedding favors or for those that create a product in need of a label! Check out all that she does here.

Below is her recipe and her gorgeous photos (apologies that they had to be compressed to fit here). I’m going to make my own batch this week, so check back to see how it turned out! (And if you’re in NYC, look out for a Limoncello Party invitation soon!)

10 lemons (organic, washed and dried)
1 750-ml bottle of vodka (100-proof preferred)
1 to 4 cups of sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)

To Make:
1. Peel the lemons with a vegetable peeler, trying not to scrape the pith (the white fleshy part underneath the peel).
2. Place the peels in a 1 quart jar and fill the jar with vodka. Screw the lid on tight.
3. Store the jar in a cool, dry place for a minimum of 4 days and as long as a month. The longer stored, the more lemon-flavor will be infused.
4. After the vodka has had time to infuse, line a strainer with a large coffee filter and set it over a 4 cup measuring cup. Strain the vodka through the filter.
5. Bring 1 cup of water to a simmer, add 1 cup of sugar and stir to dissolve. Allow the simple syrup to cool. [Side note: If you like your beverages sweeter, make more simple syrup using the 1 to 1 water to sugar ratio.]
6. Stir the syrup into the vodka and taste. Add more sugar if desired.
7. Fill bottles using a funnel and add a pretty custom label.
8. Store the bottles in a cool, dry place and chill in the freezer or refrigerator for at least 4 hours before drinking.

zest lemon
Step 1: Zest Lemon

lemon peels

add vodka
Step 2: Place in jar and add a bottle of vodka
lemon peels in vodka
Step 3: Wait
finished limoncello
Step 4: Bottle your homemade limoncello (after adding sugar syrup to taste)


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