Posts Tagged ‘Limoncello recipe’


On the whole, February has been a remarkably sunny month in Le Marche. We did have a few foggy days early in the month, but hardly any rain. The winter sun wasn’t strong enough, however, to warm the earth and, coupled with the lack of rain, our new ‘grassless’ lawn didn’t germinate. We were a little optimistic, it has to be said.

Nor was it warm enough to let stufa, our wood burning stove, have a rest. We have a close relationship with stufa simply because she requires fairly constant feeding and cleaning. Nevertheless, she keeps us warm and we can use her for cooking at no extra cost. She can also perfume the room:  if you put fresh orange peel on the top,  the air fills with a delicious citrus aroma.

Lemon ghost


On the citrus thread, we have just unveiled the lemon trees on our balcony. They have stood ghost-like all winter under white fleeces to protect them from frost. Now they are free again.


Both plants were gifts from a neighbour who is a specialist in all citrus fruit.  He has one plant which, through grafting, bears lemons, limes and oranges. (Not sure I’d bother with that. In fact, I know I wouldn’t – clever though!) 



Dan loves the lemon trees and he makes a great Limoncello:

  •  8 Large unwaxed lemons
  • 750ml pure alcohol
  • 750g granulated sugar
  • 1 litre water
  1. Wash the lemons well and peel them with a very sharp knife – you do not want any of the pith because this will make it bitter.
  2. Put the lemon skins into a 2 litre glass container with a wide mouth (the jar, not you) and add the alcohol. 
  3. Make sure the container is firmly sealed and put it into a dark place for three weeks.
  4. Every now and again, roughly every 3 days, shake the container gently – sort of ‘swish’  it around.
  5. After three weeks, put a litre of water in a large pan, add the sugar and dissolve it over a very low heat, stirring from time to time.
  6. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the solution to boiling point and then turn off the heat and allow to cool thoroughly.
  7. Add the sugar/water solution to the lemon skins and alcohol.
  8. Close the wide-mouthed glass bottle well and leave for another 10 days – again in the dark.
  9. Filter the mixture through a sieve and put in sterilised, dry bottles.

All you need to do now is cork the bottles and put them in the freezer. The Limoncello won’t actually freeze, of course, because of the high alcohol content. It should be served straight from the freezer.

Notes: Most recipes call for ½ a litre of alcohol and 1 kilo of sugar, but through experimenting, Dan has found that by increasing the alcohol and decreasing the sugar the result is far cleaner and sharper. He once also tried cane sugar, but it wasn’t nearly as good.

Our friend Nick found it quite extraordinary that in Italy you can buy pure alcohol by the litre in pharmacies and even in supermarkets. (The Italian mentality contrasts with the recent debates in the UK about licensing laws and underage binge drinking.) Nick tried the recipe.   A few weeks later, he e-mailed this question: “What do you do with 16 bald lemons?’’

If you can’t get the pure alcohol, you may want to try this
Lemon Gin  recipe by The Cottage Smallholder. You’ll have to wait 3 years though.  And, you’ll need a car and plenty of bubble wrap! Limoni


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