Ever Wonder How To Make Your Own Limoncello?

A quick, easy recipe

Spezia's 2012 Limoncello (Photo by Wes Marshall)

We were at dinner with writer Karen Odom Spezia and her gourmet foodie husband, Roy. All of Roy’s family recipes came to play, including his joyous lashing of how most people make risotto.

“In my Italian family, we have a specific way of making risotto,” he said. The gist is that you must use simmering broth, never allow the rice to stick, but get as close to that culinary cliff as you can, and cook for precisely 22 minutes. The results were amazing.

After dinner, Karen served the best homemade limoncello we have experienced in many a year, so I asked her to give the recipe to Austin Chronicle readers. At first she demurred, but we were finally able to get her to come clean. Karen is the food and restaurant writer for Tribeza.



• 750 ml grain alcohol (Everclear)
• 6 lemon peels (yellow only - no white), preferably organic
• 350 grams (12 ounces) sugar (or less)
• 750 ml water

Combine alcohol and lemon peels in glass, airtight jar (a large ‘sun tea’ jar works well). Store (unrefrigerated) for about 2 weeks.

Combine water and sugar and boil just until sugar dissolves (to create Simple Syrup). Let cool.

Mix the two liquids together. Fill bottles with a funnel covered with cheesecloth and/or strainer to avoid impurities.

Let the limoncello rest for about a day, then store it in the freezer and enjoy. Cin cin!

Makes two 750 ml bottles. Recipe by Antonietta Gaeta Galli (Karen's Italian neighbor)

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