Make This Limoncello Recipe from Austin's Il Brutto at Home

Three ingredients and a bit of time is all it takes

Limoncello, an Italian lemon liqueur, is a perfect accoutrement or add-in for all sorts of dishes and drinks – try it with mixed berries, seafood salad, cheesecake squares, bourbon iced tea, or even just mixed with sparkling water and served over ice.

It’s also really simple to make at home, and we scored the recipe (and some pro tips) from Charity Sadoy, general manager of Il Brutto (, an Italian restaurant in downtown Austin serving fresh pasta, pizza, and, you guessed it, limoncello.

Il Brutto's Limoncello (Courtesy of Alexandra Reichek)

Il Brutto’s Limoncello

by General Manager Charity Sadoy


1/2 liter overproof vodka (i.e. Everclear)

10 lemons

1/2 liter simple syrup


1. Peel the lemons, avoiding the pith as much as possible. Less white on the peels is better to avoid bitterness.

2. Place the lemon peels in a glass jar. Add the vodka. (Don't waste anything! Use the rest of the alcohol for a sanitizer solution, keeping in mind you want at least 60% alcohol in order to kill the coronavirus on surfaces. Juice the naked lemons and make lemonade! Use the lemon juice in cocktails or in the kitchen on salads.)

4. Let the jar sit for a minimum of 4 weeks in an area that stays cool and dark. We steep ours for 8 weeks minimum.

5. Strain off the lemon peels.

6. In a separate container, mix equal parts granulated sugar and boiling water. Once all the sugar is dissolved, add your infused vodka.

7. Cool in the refrigerator until no longer hot. Move to the freezer for storage and serve in chilled glasses.

You can save the original glass bottle from the vodka to bottle it in the end, and if you don’t have lemons, you can use any kind of citrus such as orange or grapefruit. Since these are larger fruits, you can also use less.

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