Drunk Kitchen: Make yo' own Limoncello

Drunk Kitchen: Make yo’ own Limoncello

I’ve always wondered about home brew and whether or not it tastes any good. I’ve thought about making it myself, even though I’m not much fond of beer. What I am fond of is limoncello, a lemon flavoured Italian liqueur often served after meals or as a shot over vanilla gelato. It’s common in Southern Italy, especially around Naples, and it’s really tasty.


So when not one, but two of the food magazines I subscribe to, had recipes for limoncello, I knew exactly how I was spending my weekend… or rather next three weekends. Yes, it takes three weekends from beginning to end before you can dive into this tasty after-dinner-drink. But don’t worry, it’s not an intensive process! In fact, this one is perfect for lazy people like me.

I was lucky, as I happened to have a glut of lemons lying around, all gifted to me by friends or left behind after cocktails at mine. Lemons can be expensive, but it’s coming into summer so a bag should be pretty reasonably priced at your local farmers market or you could kindly ask your neighbour with the lemon tree if you can nick a couple in return for a little limoncello.


This recipe makes just over a litre, so try and buy a bottle that holds just over that – and ensure it has a properly resealable lid. You then need to sterilise it. This is the most intensive part of the entire process and Taste.com.au has a pretty nifty set of instructions here. Unfortunately, you can’t skip this step. Boo!

While this recipe relies on lemon zest, don’t let any of your lemon juice go to waste. I squeezed the juice into ice cube trays and froze them to use as ice cubes. Just keep in mind that lemon juice freezes differently to water and I highly recommend silicon ice cube trays, if you have them lying around.




  • 6 unwaxed lemons
  • 2 cups vodka (half a litre)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar


  1. Carefully remove the zest from the lemons using a vegetable peeler (not a microplane) and disgard the white pith
  2. Place the zest in the sterilised jar, cover with the vodka, seal and store in a cool, dark place for one week
  3. The following weekend, combine the sugar and 1 1/2 cups boiling water in a jug and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Set aside to cool
  4. Add the cooled sugar syrup to the vodka, seal and then invert once. Turn it back the right way up and place back in your dark, cool place for another week
  5. Once opened, it should keep for up to three months (possibly more) in your fridge

Home brew, yay or nay ?What’s your favourite summer drink?