The Don’s Limoncello

One of things we like to do here at LoveFeast Table is to bring together people to share stories, experiences, and conversation.  We like to meet people along our journey and hear their story.  And, if it happens to be around the subject of food or drink, all the better!

On my flight to visit Kristin last week I happened to share some conversation across our drop-down tray-tables with a gentleman in my row named Don.  After some small talk, Don offered some explanation about his second mini-bottle of wine.  Instinctively, I asked, “Are you collecting the bottles?”  As a matter of fact he was!  I inquired why.  “For limoncello,” Don replied.  Don had my full attention.

You see Kristin and I, together with our husbands, fell in love with limoncello on our trip to Italy.


Specifically, our limoncello love began at our limoncello table in a charming little restaurant on the side of a hill run by a chef and his wife, in Florance.


This picture is a little out of focus.  But, so was that night….especially after the limoncello.  But, let me tell you it was like a dream eating in this garden.  The chef and his wife oversaw our table and brought us out small glasses of homemade limoncello.


Limoncello then became part of our story.  We have even themed our summer with it!

But, I digress…meet Don.


Don, like myself, is also from Minneapolis and he is famous for his limoncello that he gives as gifts in small little bottles to his friends and family.  That is why he needed to drink the wine on our flight!!  For the bottles, wink!wink!  Don was kind enough to give me his recipe for me to share on LoveFeast Table.

The Don’s Limoncello

11/2 liters Vodka  (Don uses the Kirkland brand from Cosco because it is the same as the Grey Goose brand for less money!)

20 Lemons (Finely zest the lemons ever so lightly over a plate with a micro-plane avoiding the white inside of the lemon.  Don gets organic lemons reasonably priced at Trader Joe’s.  If he uses regular lemons he cleans them with hot water and water purification tablets from Mexico.)

Fill a jug with rubber gasket on top with the vodka and lemon zest and shake.  Put in a dark corner.  The zest will turn white in 8-10 days.

Filter through a colander.  Don has been using a french press lately and it worked really well for him.

Add simple syrup.  Simple syrup is 1 part water to 2 parts sugar.  For this mixture Don used 21/2 cups of water and about 5 cups of sugar.  Refrigerate this mixture before you add to the lemon/vodka mixture because if it is warm it will cloud the mixture.  Put the limoncello in the freezer.  It shouldn’t freeze if it has enough vodka in it.

It is ready to drink.  Don says you can add a touch of 7-Up to it for a little “zip”.


Thank you so much, Don for sharing your travels and your recipe with us!!

Join the Conversation!

  1. We make our own limoncello too! so fun and soooo enjoyable! My tip is to actually let the zest and the vodka steep for much longer than 8-10 days… we usually put ours in a dark cool corner of the cupboard and forget about it for a few months…. mmmm i think i need to make a batch and i think i need to do it soon!

  2. I made limoncello once to give as gifts at Christmas! The recipe was about the same, and it was so lovely. I never thought about little wine bottles, but that would be perfect to put it in! Maybe I need to do this again…

  3. I am so excited. I love limoncello but have never made my own. Don’s recipe sounds like something I can tackle. Thanks for sharing.

    (I am also tickled you whipped out your camera to take Don’s picture.)

  4. LOVe this recipe!
    I’ve made kahlua for years, but have never made limoncello, it sounds like something I must do!
    nom nom nom

  5. Sounds delicious and easy enough to do even after drinking lots of tiny bottles of wine!

  6. I had no idea you could make limoncello yourself! Wow, that just made my morning! Oh the possibilities….:)

  7. I love the idea of bottling it in ‘mini’ sizes, because really, when do the stars line up often enough to get through a whole bottle of limoncello??

    This is def. going to be a project for our household this summer!

  8. The Don says:

    Dear Lovefeast, here are some options to this receipe.

    If you want more kick, use 750 ml of kirkland vodka (did anyone know costco owns grey goose? do not have to be a costco member to buy at their liquor store) and 750 ml of Everclear. In MN we can get 151 proof, SD & WI have 190 proof. Every thing else stays the same except the taste is slightly sharper and the kick is stronger.

    Less calories – Next time I make it I’m going to use Splenda in place of sugar to lower the calories.


  9. LoveFeast Table says:

    Dear Don~
    Thanks for your extra tips! I think you’ve just made the summer a little better for everybody!!
    Thanks for sharing your recipe with us!!
    Cheers! Chris Ann & Kristin

    Also, if anyone makes limoncello this summer let us know!!

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