• 10 lemons
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle vodka
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar


Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the lemons in long strips (reserve the lemons for another use). Using a small sharp knife, trim away the white pith from the lemon peels; discard the pith. Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart pitcher. Pour the vodka over the peels and cover with plastic wrap. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature, away from sunlight. 

Stir the water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour the sugar syrup over the vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer. Discard the peels. Transfer the limoncello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.


For stronger limoncello, use equal parts Everclear and vodka. The higher alcohol content in the Everclear will also pull more of the oils from the lemon skins.  

Straining the peels through a cheesecloth will produce a more clear, refined limoncello. 

For bottling, the 8.5oz glass flip-top bottles (like the ones below) work well. Shop around on Amazon for the best deals, as prices vary. 

*While this post may have very little to do with doctoral programs, it made its way to this site for educational purposes. Not saying other limoncello recipes are bad, but I have tasted a few that were pretty bland. This recipe has never failed me, and I hope it inspires you to create some holiday cheer!