Thursday, 13 March 2014

James Martin's Limoncello

Prep time:
15 min, plus 1 month infusing
Cook time:
5 min
makes about 1 litre

James Martin's recipe for limoncello makes an intensely lemony Italian liqueur - serve ice-cold as an after-dinner digestif


  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 150 ml water
  • zest and juice of 6 unwaxed lemons
  • 700 ml eau-de-vie (colourless fruit liqueur), 40-80% proof, or vodka


1. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil, then simmer briskly for 3-4 minutes until the bubbles look syrupy. Leave to cool.

2. Add the lemon zest and juice to the syrup while it is still slightly warm. Then add the eau-de-vie or vodka.

3. Pour into sterile bottles or jars and seal.

4. Leave in a cool, dark place for 1 month, shaking every day for the first week. After a month the lemon liqueur will be ready to drink. Strain into clean bottles.

5. Put in the freezer for several hours before serving. The liqueur is best served in frozen shot glasses.

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