Outer Banks Gluten Free Baker Blog

Homemade Limoncello and Orangecello

Homemade Limoncello and Orangecello

Homemade Limoncello & Orangecello-- 

What do you do with half a case of lemons and half a case of oranges? Easy! Make orange and lemon liqueurs! These little goodies can be used as homemade gifts, or to drink yourself! This delicious liqueur is also fabulous over fresh fruit or ice cream (and pound cake, bread pudding....)

Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur that is traditionally made from the zest of the lemon, grain alcohol, sugar, and water. We are going to do things a little differently by using the entire lemon halved, juiced, and squeezed into gallon pickle jars.  We are also going to make a variant of this by using oranges and making an orange version. We made several gallons, but our recipe shows the amount for 1 gallon jar.


  • 12 large lemons or oranges 
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) 190 proof grain alcohol (we used Everclear made from corn) or 100 proof potato vodka.
  • 8 cups water 
  • 8 cups sugar (8 cups per gallon jar)
  • clean gallon jar with lid (we used pickle) 


  • Wash fruit with a brush and water to remove dirt and pesticides (or use organic but still wash). Set aside to dry.
  • Cut fruit in half, squeeze out the juice. Set aside the juice. Quarter oranges/lemons. Fill a gallon jar, with cut fruit and saved juice.  Fill to the brim with grain alcohol. Store in a dark place for at least 6 weeks. Shake ever so often, or when you think of it. 


  • After aging the fruit and alcohol, the mixture is ready to be strained! Cover the jar with cheesecloth and strain. This should yield about 8 cups per gallon jar. Set aside.

  • In a large pot over high heat, add the sugar and water to make the simple syrup. Dissolve the sugar. Let cool. Combine the simple syrup and the alcohol. 

  • Use a funnel top pour the Limoncello or Orangecello into empty bottles of your choice. We used quart mason jars. After bottling, the liqueur can be stored in a cool place or in the freezer (yum-mo).


We have a wonderful homemade Italian liqueur to give as gifts or served chilled as an after dinner drink. 

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