My husband recently bought me some lemons from his trip to Naples. He knows me well, no perfume for me thanks, lemons are much more appreciated! I love them! To me a bowl of lemons is as pleasing as a vase of flowers!

I feel in the UK we are a little cheated where lemons are concerned.  With the climate here we must rely on imported lemons, unfortunately the best ones don’t seem to reach our supermarkets, we mostly only get smallish lemons here, no variety name just “lemons”.  Occasionally I will spot some big lovely lemons,  but its a rare treat. In Italy they have beautiful lemons. They are big, some still have leaves attached and sometimes they are misshapen, which is another thing I love, the more gnarly the lemon the more I like it! Also you have the joy of knowing those lemons were probably only picked within the last few days and probably not far from where you are buying them.

There is a good chance those lemons my husband bought me came from the Sorrento Peninsular which is famed for its lemons and the Limoncello made from them. So when I got those lemons a phrase Id heard before entered my head. When life gives you lemons, make Limoncello! It was something Id been wanting to make for a while and this was the perfect opportunity. I looked online for a recipe and  found so many! I didn’t have that many lemons so I adapted this recipe from Epicurious 

My Limoncello is probably not as strong as store-bought. Its sweet and really smooth. I used unrefined sugar which gave it a clearer but less lemon looking appearance. I’m sure with white sugar the usual cloudy lemon appearance is achieved. I prefer to drink it as a long drink with ice rather than as a shot.


  • 4 large lemons, thoroughly washed
  • 500 ml  (2 cups) Vodka
  1. Peel the skin off of the lemons with a potato peeler, just the yellow part of the skin – no pith.
  2. Put the peelings into a large jar along with the vodka.  Seal the lid well and give it a shake to mix.
  3. Put the jar in a cool place for a week. Shake the contents of the jar once a day to mix. The liquid should become more yellow and the lemon peels less so as the week goes on.

  One week later                                                                                  

  • 400 g  (2 cups) sugar
  • 500 ml  (2 cups) water
  1. At the end of the week put the sugar in a saucepan and dissolve completely in the water.
  2. Cool the  sugar syrup to room temperature.
  3. Strain the lemon peel from the alcohol. Return alcohol to jar and add the sugar syrup. Mix well.
  4. Strain the Limoncello into bottles.
  5. Leave stored  for a month before drinking.
  6. Serve well chilled.


  1. #1 by lizthechef on July 12, 2011 - 19:48

    I so want to try this with all our ripening Meyer lemons – will have to guess a bit on translating the measurements – 454 grams in a pound, right? I think vodka bottles have both metric and non on their labels. This looks wonderful!

    • #2 by jaynerly on July 13, 2011 - 08:49

      I think this would be amazing with your Meyer lemons although you ould probably need less sugar. I have added US cup equivalents!!

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