The gospel has been spread. Everyone knows now. I love a good lemon. Keep the lemons coming! Why is it that people with lemon trees really don’t make much with them? Perhaps they are just over it. Perhaps they are sick of lemonade and don’t know what else to make with their precious little golden beauties. I grew up in Michigan. Having a lemon tree in your backyard was a total foreign concept to me. Ice skating rink yes, lemon tree, no. When I moved to California and started meeting all kinds of people with lemon trees I got a little giddy. Thirteen years later, I am still giddy when I get fresh lemons from my “lemony friends”. Now I’m a little giddy for two reasons. Second reason is limoncello. ACTUALLY giddy. The stuff is potent and for sure you will feel quite giddy after you’ve had a good sip or five… If you have the patience you too can make your own limoncello. It’s quite fun. All you need is a few ingredients and nice glass jar and some time. Make sure to make extra and place it in nice pretty bottles so you can share with your friends.

Is this not the most beautiful yellow thing you’ve seen? ……


(recipe adapted from


  •   10 lemons (organic, wax free)
  •   1 liter vodka
  •   2 cups white sugar
  •   2  1/2 cups water
  •   cheesecloth
  •   glass jar



1. Wash the lemons welll, rinse and dry. Zest the lemons using a Y peeler by taking off about 3/4-1 inch strips, and place zest strips into a large glass bottle or jar. Try very careful to make sure you are only getting the zest and not any of the white pith as this will make the liqueur bitter. If you find you have white pith on the back of the peel; take a sharp paring knife and try to remove the pith. Pour in vodka. Cover loosely and let infuse for three weeks at room temperature. Every few days or so, take off the cover, stir the peels and muddle them by pressing down on them with the tip of a wooden spoon. As time goes on, you will notice the liqueur to become more yellow. It’s a beautiful thing!

2. After three weeks, combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Do not stir. Boil for 15 minutes. Allow syrup to cool to room temperature. Pour the entire vodka/lemon peel mixture into a large clean pot and remove/discard the lemon peels; reserve the booze of course. Wash out the glass container as you are going to use it again to pour the mixture back into to let it “cure” for 2 more weeks. Pour the mixture back into the clean glass container. Stir syrup into vodka mixture using the same glass container.

3. Let the mixture sit on your counter top in a cool place; out of direct sunlight (covered). You will notice that every few days you will notice some sediment or cloudiness that forms on top; strain the mixture through a double thickness cheese cloth placed over a wire mesh strainer over a large clean pot. Pour the mixture back into the glass container each time you do this. Let mixture age for 2 weeks at room temperature; every few days continue to look for any sediment/cloudiness and strain as above each time and pour back into the glass container until mixture shows no more sediment/cloudiness.

4. EVERY FEW DAYS, WALK PAST THE CONTAINER AND GRIN. THAT’S RIGHT; SHOW IT THE LOVE IT DESERVES. GRIN HAPPILY. YES, IT’S A BEAUTIFUL THING. THIS IS KEY OKAY?! YOU MUST STOP, GAZE AT IT AND GRIN. Like talking to a plant, show it the love. The limoncello love. Okay, I admit. I stopped, gazed and dipped into it, [sipped] a little along the way. After those two exhausting weeks are over…Thank God!!!! Take a funnel, pour the mixture into decorative glass bottles or glass canning jars and store as below.

4. Place the bottled liqueur into the freezer. When icy cold, serve in chilled vodka glasses or shot glasses. The stuff is potent, so you can also serve over ice or even with a little lemon/lime soda would be good too. Shhh, don’t tell the Italians I said that, they would probably cringe. To your health.



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