This easy to make liqueur is slightly sweetened and made from infused lemon peel.


Because you are only using the skin (zest) part of the lemon, make sure you scrub and wash the lemons well. Aside from any pesticide residue, they can be sprayed with an oil to help increase their shelf life, as well all the handling they’ve had from farm to shelf can pick up dirt or bacteria.


Use a vegetable peeler and remove only the thin yellow skin – no white part. The pith is bitter and will affect the taste of the liqueur. Add the peels and vodka to a jar/bottle, seal and let sit for a week.

Add the sugar syrup and let sit overnight. Strain, discarding peels, then pour back into an empty liquor bottle. Now it’s ready to enjoy!




Marla Hingley
A slightly sweet liqueur made from infused lemon peel.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 4 d
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 4 d 5 mins
Servings 64


  • 10 lemons
  • 750 ml/24oz vodka best quality you can afford
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar


  • Peel lemons (no white pith) into long strips, and place in a large glass pitcher/container (enough to hold 8 cups)
  • Add vodka, cover and let sit at room temperature for 4 days away from sunlight.
  • Over medium heat, combine water and sugar, stirring until dissolved. Heat for another 10-15 minutes to allow it to reduce a bit more, then allow to cool completely.
  • Pour sugar water in with lemon mixture, cover and let sit for another 12 hours at room temperature.
  • Strain, discard peels, and pour into sealable containers (I save empty vodka bottles for this purpose).
  • Store in refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  • Serve on its own in liqueur glasses, or in a martini or in a spritzer.


Depending where you live, and what the cost of ingredients are (lemons & vodka), making your own limoncello may not be any cheaper than buying it from the liquor store (can range from $25-35 a bottle).
Makes about 2 liters, or 64 ounces.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
See also
Almond Milk


[hr]FAQ: Is Vodka gluten free?

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  1. Failed to address what kind of vodka -most are made from grains and are unacceptable.

  2. Blue Ice (made from potatoes), Bombora Vodka (grapes), Cayman Blue Vodka (sugar cane), and Canadian made Smirnoff Vodka (corn) are just a few gluten free brands. Because there are so many different things people are allergic to besides gluten (ie. corn, potatoes), I don’t want recommend anything specific. Do a quick internet search to see whats out there, then visit your liquor store and see what types of gluten free vodkas they have access to and can bring into their store for you.

  3. There is no fermentation here. Just flavored Vodka. If you let the lemon rind sit in the sugar water, it “might” ferment, if there was some wild yeast in the air….if you had the ratio right, etc. I make wine, and thus understand the process needed for fermentation. This same technique can be used with any fruit to impart the flavor. Try raspberry… or anything you can get your hands on!!!


  4. You’re right! I meant to say infused not fermented. Vodka is the perfect alcohol to create fruit infused spirits (I have made a Strawberry Liqueur in the past as well that was fantastic).

  5. Marla…would this be possible to make with stevia?? either the lemon flavored or plain?? You have given me a great idea…thanks

  6. 5 stars
    This works well in combinations – lemon-lime, for instance. One Grandma simmered the peels in the sugar-water for 10 minutes, cooled it and added it to the alcohol base, then let it sit for 5 days before straining out the peels. She always sterilized the containers before adding the finished product and sealing them. She also froze the peels and used them in cooking. My other grandma used the same method you gave, but she also saved and used the peels for cooking. Both of my grandfathers knew about home brewing, and the alcohol was derived from either apples or grapes. By the time they finished, it was nearly pure alcohol.

  7. I honestly don’t have a lot of experience with stevia. I think it would work as long as the stevia is able to dissolve completely. If you do make the recipe (I would just do half a batch to start, so you don’t waste too much vodka if it doesn’t turn out), I would love to hear how it turned out (and how much stevia you used)!

  8. Angie, Thanks,

    I look for GF recipes for grand children. A very helpful site.

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