Learning how easy it was to make homemade limoncello was a revelation. Sipping it at my daughter’s bridal shower was lovely!

Intersecting ideas

The beauty of writing a blog about scotch (and other whisky reviews) and scones (and other yummy baked goods) is that the two subjects generally don’t intersect, so I can write about double the topics. Occasionally I’ll write a “crossover” post where I’ve baked with alcohol (e.g. Kahlua cake or bourbon brownies) or have gotten to pair food with a tasting lineup (like in Fancy Finishes and a Chance to Pair and Springbank with Snacks). And while I’ve made food using alcohol as a flavoring, I haven’t made and written about making a flavored liqueur…that is, until now. This week I had the pleasure of catering my older daughter’s bridal shower, and with an Italian themed menu it seemed appropriate to serve homemade limoncello.

While the “brown” spirits don’t really lend themselves to doctoring up (why alter perfection?), vodka practically screams for flavoring. Infusing vodka simply is a matter of letting that flavoring item steep in the vodka for about 2 weeks, then drain and, voilà, you have flavored vodka. In the B.S.S. times (i.e. Before Scotch and Scones), I’d made pineapple vodka (a version of the Stoli Doli from Capitol Grille steakhouse), grapefruit vodka (that was surprisingly wonderful), and even cucumber vodka (not my favorite, but my older daughter liked it). I had tasted limoncello in Italian restaurants and had assumed that it was some fancy imported liqueur. While researching the aforementioned bridal shower menu, imagine my surprise when I learned that limoncello is just lemon-infused vodka sweetened with simple syrup. “Hooray!” I thought, ”I CAN MAKE IT!”

So…how is it done?

Turning to my favorite source for recipes (Pinterest), I quickly settled on Jo-Lynne Shane’s version of homemade limoncello and set about making it. As recipes go, it’s short and quite easy…the hardest part was zesting the lemons. Well, that, and waiting the 2 weeks before I could try it! As always, my notes are in italics.


homemade limoncello ingredients
So few ingredients so into making something so lovely


starting the limoncello infusion in a mason jar with vodka and lemons
On the first day, I created my infusion


You can see over the course of 2 weeks how the color of the vodka gets stronger. It’s all that essence of lemon seeping in!


views of the limoncello infusion on day 2, day 5, and day 14
Views of the infusion on Day 2, Day 5, and Day 14


straining the limoncello infusion into a bowl
Drip, drip, drip…I’m determined to get the last drop out!


Jo-Lynne says you can drink it straight or in cocktails; i.e. with tonic. We sipped ours after our meal and it was lovely…light, sweet, and refreshing. And, the lovely yellow color was a bright compliment to a wonderful event. My older daughter likened it to the sweet flavor of lemonheads candy (after the sour taste fades)…how’s that for tasting notes!


homemade limoncello in a glass
The limoncello is finished and ready to sip…look at that beautiful color!


homemade limoncello in a bottle and glass
The homemade limoncello is ready to serve at my daughter’s bridal shower


Learning how easy it was to make homemade limoncello and other liqueurs has opened a whole other area of interest for me, and it speaks to my desire to make sure my family’s food and drink is without preservatives or additives. Maybe homemade Irish Cream whiskey is next? Who knows? Stay tuned!

Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!


Homemade Limoncello

Learning how easy it was to make homemade limoncello was a revelation...liquid sunshine!
Adapted from Jo-Lynne Shane
Prep Time10 mins
Resting Time14 d
Total Time14 d 10 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Lemon, Liqueurs, Vodka
Servings: 32 1-oz shots
Calories: 100kcal
Author: Tammy Spencer, Scotch & Scones

Special Equipment

  • quart mason jar
  • fine mesh sieve
  • funnel
  • sealable glass bottle



  • 1 bottle bottle vodka or grain alcohol (750ml)
  • 6 lemons (mine were small…that’s fine)

Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar


For the base

  • Wash the lemons and remove the zest with peeler, avoiding the white part. (I juiced the zested lemons and saved it for other uses).
  • Place the zest and vodka in a quart mason jar. Close the jar and let it sit for 1-2 weeks; shake daily. When the peels lose color, it's ready. Longer is better (a quart canning jar is perfect for this).
  • Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve; squeeze lemon peels to get all the liquid out.

For the simple syrup

  • Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the sugar dissolves; cool to room temperature.
  • Add the syrup to the limoncello base. A little warm syrup makes a nice cloudy limoncello.
  • Using a funnel, pour the liqueur into sealable clean bottles. Store in the freezer in warmer zone, like on the door. It can slush up a bit; that's okay (I don’t have that kind of room in my freezer, but the refrigerator works, too). Longer aging means more intense flavors.

Recipe Notes

Did you make this recipe? Please share your pictures with the world on your social media outlets, tag me at @scotch_scones (on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter) or @scotchandsconesblog (on Facebook), and use the hashtag #scotchandsconesblog. I can’t wait to see your creations!
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