When Life Gives You Lemons, Learn How to Make Limoncello won’t just share a recipe for a traditional Italian liqueur. It also brings lemony fresh finds and encouragement to lighten the weight of unprecedented lemons in our midst. Let’s continually remind one another of sweetness and blessing, already on the way.
If lemony goodness tempts your tastebuds, keep reading.
BTW, I’m not encouraging booze as a response to this season. In fact, I give away my my limoncello since alcohol is nearly non-existent in my restricted diet.
Liquor and lemons not your favorite? Keeping reading for other smiles ahead.
The thing about creating something like limoncello (or homemade vanilla or homemade amaretto which I have made) is that it takes weeks before you can enjoy it. So if you whip up a batch now, you can sip it on the rocks this summer.
Let’s get to the limoncello recipe!
Learn How to Make Limoncello
Hello Lovely Limoncello Recipe
8-12 lemons: scrub them clean then peel with a vegetable peeler or knife, avoiding the pith. Place peels in a clear glass seal-able jar.
750 ml vodka or Everclear (about 3 cups): pour over lemon peel in jar and store in a dark place, 2-4 weeks. Strain the infused liqueur through cheesecloth into a clean container. If desired, gather peels into a piece of cheesecloth and squeeze any remaining liquid into container. Discard peels.
3 cups water: bring it to a boil in a saucepan, then add 2 cups white sugar. Reduce heat and allow a few minutes for sugar to completely dissolve so you are left with a thin syrup. Cool completely before adding to alcohol. Stir to combine.
You may now bottle your limoncello in sterile bottles and store in the freezer.
Serve limoncello ice cold in cognac or shot glasses.
Ideas for Dishes and Cocktails Made With Limoncello
So many delicious ways to use limoncello for refreshing drinks, pasta dishes and more.
Sangria & Champagne Cocktails With Limoncello
Also GO HERE where I have gathered a few yummy ideas for you to pin and discover.
This post contains affiliate links which I hope you will use since they won’t cost you a penny extra yet may earn this blog a small commission.
This bowl (above and below) is always on my counter with fruit and makes the perfect gift!
Limoncello Facts & Tips
What color should limoncello be? Sometimes limoncello is clear – it was likely sweetened with a simple syrup rather than honey, which imparts an amber hue to the limoncello.
What if there is white on my lemon peels? Limoncello makers frequently caution us about careful avoidance of the lemon’s pith when peeling (since the white is the bitter part of the fruit).
But even when I’m lazy and accidentally wind up with a little pith, it doesn’t ruin the batch. Remember, you’ll be sweetening the lemony infused alcohol.
What Happens to the Lemon Juice?
Don’t you juice the lemons for limoncello? Some folks juice the lemons after peeling and add this to the jar with the alcohol. I haven’t tried it.
Sometimes I make lemonade with the juice right away. For this batch, I froze the peeled lemons to stuff a roast chicken later.
You can also take frozen slices out of the freezer to combine with other fruit and herbs for a yummy clean smelling potpourri on the stovetop to infuse your kitchen with fresh fragrance.
How much time will the lemon peels marinate? Everyone has an opinion about aging and how long to let the lemon peel and alcohol hang out. In my experience, 2 weeks is plenty of time. One week is even probably okay.
How should I serve the limoncello? I love this tip for serving limoncello at a gathering: cut a paper milk carton in half and use the bottom half for this preparation.
Place a bottle of limoncello in the center of the carton, fill with water (and herbs if desired), and freeze until ready to serve. Peel away the cardboard. Now your limoncello will stay ice cold at the table in its own confetti pretty cube of ice.
Baking With Limoncello
Can the limoncello be used in baking? Can you even imagine how your poundcake or lemon blueberry loaf can be kicked up a notch with a little boozy help from homemade limoncello?
Remember those jello cakes we used to make in the 1970s? How about pricking little holes with a fork into your pound cake while still warm and drizzling some room temp limoncello into those wee indentations?
Another idea is to simply combine a Tablespoon or so of limoncello with powdered sugar for a glaze for a cake or muffins.
How to Make Limoncello: Great Tutorial!
Exploring Life’s Lemons & Lemonade
While I may not know the sour you are facing today, friend, I honor your battle; and it need not get the last word with so much sweetness hidden nearby.
A Confession About Expressions
As far as all the ‘make lemonade’ yada yada, I must admit I am not fond of most clichés cross-stitched on embroidery hoops and tattooed on so many ankles.
The ‘make lemonade’ cliché has persisted since the early 20th century in American culture wherever references arise to optimism and overcoming fate.
I can imagine how meaningful and rich the saying was in its infancy.
Yet in spite of my distaste for unappetizing, over-used phrases (lawd have mercy, I’m a word nerd), God pursues me with them.
As a younger woman, the cliché triggered yawns, eye rolls and resistance. Still, the invitations to drink them down kept arriving.
I would even say the invitations began to wear me down, and I grew to acquire a taste for them in the second half of life.
Accepting the Ordinary
Suddenly I began to awaken to the hidden beauty and miraculous mystery of a cliché like ‘make lemonade’ or ‘bloom where you’re planted’ as they were etched upon my heart while I slept.
While I can’t prove it empirically, it seems the sweetness of these simple expressions HAILS FROM A SOURCE BEYOND ME AND MY EGO’S APPETITE FOR ORIGINALITY.
My whole life through, I have been wildly wired for words. Yet God speaks clearly to me in pared down, bare and elegant simplicity.
Noticing the sweetness and profundity within the mystery of the cliché has transformed my regard for: the commonplace, wabi sabi, minutiae, and the beauty of the ordinary.
Surrendering to Simplicity
Somehow, cliché signals the way to secret simple pathways of spiritual sweetness.
While I might choose a level or ascending path, the upside down kingdom’s looks more like descent. Descent into deeper humility, into humbler reliance, into daring trust.
Since we’re all so different, I suppose the universe, God, LOVE, and Mystery speak with expressions precisely and perfectly designed to woo each of us into greater sweetness.
Are we typically too rushed, defensive, and busy to notice? Is our current sheltering at home an opportunity to listen?
Solitude, silence, and stillness are masterful teachers which guide my own attentiveness and shape my heart.
Thank you for reading these wonderings with such tenderness, friends.
Non-Boozy Idea: Enjoy Lemon Peels
Here’s a fun and yummy way to extract flavor and add healthy goodness to your meals.
Sweet Lemony Finds to Love!
Sunny yellow always feels so welcome and naturally uplifting when spring arrives, and I loved curating these cheerful finds to add citrus magic to your everyday.
If there is a single lemony addition to add to your everyday, IT’S THIS.
Meyer Lemon yum! I have relied upon these products for decades now, and the fresh scent and loveliness never fail to elevate mundane kitchen chores.
Lemon Yellow Loveliness
Who doesn’t want to look and feel their optimal best? And who can’t use creative ideas to work superfoods into the daily diet?
I love the simplicity of this casual ensemble:
But adding this scarf brings it a cheerful HELLO LOVELY!
Care to create: childhood wonder, an excuse to splash in rain puddles, and a smile for your porch or entry?
Welcome LEMON wellies!
Psst…If you have never tried shorter boots like these, I highly recommend them – I rarely wear taller boots anymore.
Dishtowels to Enhance the Everyday
Aren’t these plates darling?
Until I develop my own recipe, this sounds delectable…
When a subdued lemony fresh and a tiny dot is more YOU…
I used to have a vintage Jadeite juicer just like this one…such sweet memories. Find VINTAGE JADEITE HERE.
Isn’t it amazing we can now find anything at all online!?!
Thanks so much for tasting, seeing, and dreaming with me on this journey.
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO PIN THIS POST to spread the lemon joy.
Wishing you loads of lemon sunshine, smiles for miles, and the luxuriant warmth of spring.
If you have a moment for more smiles, SEE THIS!
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Peace to you right where you are.
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I can’t help but to be reminded of this truth-His sheep know his voice…. You are listening
Oh, friend, what a blessing to feel truly heard. Thank you for your heart. Wishing you peace.
I needed this post today as a reminder, to slow down, listen and put it all in God’s hands. My shoulders and neck hurt, my teeth from grinding and I am tired from no sleep. Thank you my friend for being a messenger and a bright light.
Yours is such a beautiful soul, Elizabeth. Wishing you peace, relief, and comfort. xox
You are so welcome for the feature at Thursday Favorite Things. I love limoncello. I make yummy cupcakes and put it in lots of my baking. I pinned your recipe to make my own. I can
t wait to try it.
Spring is in the air here too and I am loving it. It does make you smile.
Have a lovely weekend.
I have yet to make cupcakes with it–yum!!! Thanks so much for sharing and the kind words. Wishing you blessings and sunshine, Bev. xox
Oh my goodness…all of this lemony, sunshiny fun, I love it all! Those yellow hunter boots though!
Your little quotes are the best. I will definitely make tacos on my next “sour” lemon life day. I use similar quotes to refer to having chronic Lyme Disease. “When life gives you Lyme, decorate your kitchen with bright, beautiful, lemons!”
I really enjoy your beautiful blog Michele, thanks for inspiring!
Hahaha – love your mantra and i must say i have a thing for limes even more than lemons, Amber! Thanks for the encouragement and support. xox
I listen to old time vintage radio shows. Very often in them they drink a lemondrop martini. Sounds so lovely doesn’t it. I have made some for vintage theme parties. But basically it’s limoncello. Your beautiful posts are priceless.
Thanks, Michelle. It does sound lovely. Lemondrops were my favorite hard candy when I was a child! I hope there is a time soon when vintage theme parties inspire joy and not fear! 🙂
it’s fantastic what you can make of lemons even Limoncello is too sweet for me. I use my lemons in Morrocan style,
pickled in salt, chilli, coriander seeds, peper etc…and in it’s own juice for 3 month. After I use it for different meals.
It is definitely sweet – so a lot of folks like to use it to create other drinks. Morrocan style sounds fabulous!
Yes, I love the smell of fresh baked bread. I can’t believe you have a starter that is that old. I would have destroyed it by now. I love Limoncello and use it in several recipes, but I have never made it. I am going to give it a try.
Thanks for the recipe.
I hope you are doing well.
I have cinnamon bread rising this moment from that starter, Bev. I have nearly killed it each time we move or take an extended vacation, but it obviously wants to remain with us, and my kids grew up on it. 🙂 I get to enjoy making these things for others now that my diet is so restricted so I’m thrilled you’ll be giving it a try. Peace to you, friend.
I love lemon and all of your posts. Congratulations, you are being featured at Thursday Favorite Things. I hope you will stop by. https://www.eclecticredbarn.com/2020/04/thursday-favorite-things_15.html
I’ll be there, friend. Thank you so very much for your kindness. 🙂
Thanks so much, Irene. I’ll be stopping over to visit your blog and appreciate you reading. 🙂