A after-dinner digestive in Italy is Limoncello. The kind you have brought home in a bottle from Italy or bought here in a store is never the same and cannot be compared to the home-made version.


  • One bottle (750 ml) Everclear
  • One bottle (750 ml) Smirnoff vodka
  • 20 organic lemons
  • 4 c. sugar
  • 4 c. water


Wash the lemons in hot water and clean with vegetable wash and scrub vigorously to remove any wax. Rinse. Lemon peels are how you create the drink’s flavor and color, so it is important that the lemons are clean. Peel the lemons with a high-quality vegetable peeler (retaining the peels for later) being sure not to include any of the pith, which creates bitterness.

Put the lemon peels in a large glass bottle (French lemonade bottles with the ceramic and rubber stopper work nice for this, with the vodka and everclear. Swirl the lemon peel and alcohol mixture together daily in the bottle.  You can cure this for 2 weeks to 4 months.

To serve, remove the bigger peels with a slotted spoon. Mix the sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let boil for at least seven minutes.   Let the simple syrup cool to room temperature, then combine with lemon-alcohol mixture.

At this point you can re-bottle using funnels. You should ideally let the limoncello marry again for a week in the bottle, but you can serve sooner if needed.