A home-made version of that famous authentically-named lemon liqueur from Italy .


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5 unwaxed lemons, zest only.

1 pint/500ml vodka

½ pint/300ml hot water

1oz/25g caster sugar


Place the lemon zest in a large sterilised jar and cover with the vodka.

Put the lid on the jar and shake well.

Keep the jar in a cool, dark place for two weeks, shaking daily.

Dissolve the caster sugar in the water and, when cool, add to the vodka.

Keep the jar in a cool, dark place for 2-4 weeks, shaking daily.

Check the taste: add more sugar dissolved in water or more vodka to adjust.


If desired, add a few teaspoons of glycerol (glycerine) to adjust the viscosity so that the liqueur has a smoother “mouth-feel”.

Give the jar a final good shake after any additions.

Wet a paper coffee filter and place in a funnel then filter out the lemon zest and pour in to sterilised bottles.

Probably best stored in a dark place to retain the colour.

Probably stores as long as your self-control.

My Tips:

Check that the jar will take about 1 litre of liquid so that you have enough room to add the sugar syrup and shake.

Serve at room temperature or chilled and you could pour over ice-cream.

You can experiment with different fruits: oranges, raspberries, limes or a mix.

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© 2024 - Penny Melville-Brown
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