Booze Banter

Cocktail Query: What Would You Do With a Plethora of Homemade Limoncello?

LimoncelloBack in December of 2012, Mrs. G-LO and I got together with some friends to celebrate Crafty Day, an annual holiday gathering that involves a plethora of food and drink as well as a bit of crafting (i.e. the ladies of the group get together to make something that they will then gift to friends, teachers, and family). During last year’s Crafty Day, our good friend Rob decided that the men should also do a craft while we sampled whiskies at his basement bar. Since Rob is well versed in the art and science of fermentation (he makes his own wine and occasionally brews his own beer), he decided that our craft would be of the boozy variety, i.e. we would be making a batch of Limoncello.

As we sipped and savored our whiskies, Rob, his brother in law Rash (short for Horatio), and I carefully peeled a mountain of lemons. Once we were done with the peeling, Rob filled a couple jars with the lemon peels, and then filled them to the brim with Everclear. Since it would take at least a month or two for the Everclear to do its job (i.e. suck every ounce of lemony goodness out of the lemon peels), we immediately scheduled a dilution and bottling session for a later date.

In early April, we went back to Rob’s house to finish up the Limoncello. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but those two jars of lemon infused Everclear yielded 20+ bottles of Limoncello (750 ml each). In addition to this, Rob also concocted a vanilla vodka based version that he called Vanillacello (not sure if this is a real thing or not). Never let it be said that Rob does anything half assed.

So here’s my dilemma…

I now have 6 bottles of Limoncello and 4 bottles of Vanillacello in my basement, and I have no idea what to do with them. I realize that I could simply give a few of them away, but before I do that, I am hoping to gather some interesting cocktail recipes that I could include as serving suggestions when I finally start gifting bottles of this tasty stuff to friends and family.

Although I dabble in the occasional cocktail creation, I am far from an expert, so I am asking for a bit of help from you, our Dear Readers. Here’s the plan:

  • Step 1: Readers will give us some cocktail recipe suggestions in the comment section or email us directly at
  • Step 2: We will do a follow up post that lists our favorite Limoncello based cocktail recipes and ask you to vote for your favorite one.
  • Step 3: The cocktail recipe that gets the most votes will be featured in a third and final post with full credit being given to the cocktail creator (with proper shout outs on Twitter, Facebook, Drinkwire, Instagram, and Pinterest!).

Now that we have all of that out of the way, let the games begin! Thanks in advance for all of your help and we look forward to hearing all of your great ideas. Cheers!

33 replies »

  1. My mom made a batch over the winter. We drank it straight, taking shots of cloyingly sweet lemony booze until the drink fairies dragged out floppy bodies to hangover land.

    I’m going to pull a recipe out of my ass:

    1 oz Limoncello
    1 oz Gin
    1 oz Midori
    2 oz pineapple juice

    Mix vigorously in a tumbler over ice. Strain into a martini glass, decorate with mint.

    I call it “Scurvy’s Bane”


    • Yeah. I can only drink so much of this stuff. It’s definitely tasty, especially when served ice cold, but the sweetness is a bit much for me.

      Love the recipe name! Menacing yet therapeutic.

      I have everything but the Midori (I wonder if I can get it in small bottles). Do you think there’s enough Gin in your concoction to cut the sweetness from all the other ingredients? Much like beer, cocktails need balance too.


  2. You could use the Vanillacello to make a Creamsicle (2oz and then add orange juice) or a Cream Soda (1oz to 2oz of ginger ale). The Limoncello could be mixed with gin (1oz to 1oz of gin and 4oz of club soda) or champagne (1oz to 0.5oz of lemon juice and top off with champagne).
    Also, as you are quite the experimental chef, you could use the Limoncello in a Chicken Francaise and then use the Vanillacello to make a meringue for some sort of dessert.


    • Good suggestions! I like the CreamSoda idea. Not so sure about the Creamsicle with orange juice. San Pellegrino makes a Blood Orange soda that is fantastic! That might work with the Vanillacello to make a boozy version of one of those Stewarts Soda concoctions.

      Also like the Limoncello ideas. I was thinking along those lines too. I think the Gin would lend some balance while the Club Soda will add some refreshment to the libation. Not so sure about cooking with the stuff though. The only words that come to mind are culinary disaster.


      • You could try Orangina or one of the Mexican sodas as well. As respects the culinary disasters, you probably have enough of both ‘cellos to allow for an error or two. All in the name of research!


        • Orangina might work, but I think the Mexican sodas would be too sweet. That’s why I like the San Pellegrino sodas. A nice balance of sweet and tart. Their lemon soda is downright mouth puckering!

          I’m with you on the research, but you know how I dislike wasting food.


          • Bring the food it won’t go to waste. And, add the Mexican sodas and club soda to cut down on the sweetness.


          • This is true. I think that the “It’s just the booze dancing…” research institute has already proven that we’ll eat pretty much anything after a few drinks. It’s just a matter of time before we start frying up that bulging can of haggis that is lurking in the deep dark recesses of your pantry. You know. Where you hide all those extra bottles of whisky that you don’t want us to know about.


  3. shake with ice(Lemoncello + a little Pernod + a dash or two of lavender bitters)
    Muddle mint, add in lemoncello, top with ice and tonic.


    • Think I could substitute Absinthe for the Pernod? And where does one get lavender bitters? Would orange bitters be a good substitute?

      Option 2 sounds more to my liking. How about an Absinthe rinse before all the mint muddling action? Could add an interesting herbal component.


  4. I’d like to try some kind of lemony Margarita variation with the theory that the smokiness of Tequila and a bit of salt will help balance out the limoncello, where it could stand in for the Grand Marnier / Cointreau / Triple Sec. I don’t have any limoncello on hand to do a test batch, but I’d start with something like:

    2oz silver tequila
    1 oz limoncello
    3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
    Shaken well and strained into a salt-rimmed glass and garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

    From there, I assume it’s going to want a little more complexity. Float a barspoon of Anejo? Use a reposado instead of silver? A little bit of something herbal like Maraschino or Chartreuse? Absinthe/Pastis rinse? Bitters? Orgeat? Dunno, I’d want to play around with it a little.


    • The whole Limoncello as a substitute for Triple Sec/Cointreau/Grand Marnier in a Margarita is what I was thinking as well. That would help to cut the tartness of the lime yet still keep with the whole citrus theme. I like your Margarita additions, but I think starting traditional to see how it goes would be a 1st step. I do know one thing. This would be one potent drink!


    • Agreed Ed! I have some in a recycled Cardhu Single Malt bottle. Equal parts blasphemy and coolness.

      Sadly, your suggestion doesn’t count as a cocktail. How about as a layered shot? That would count! Any ideas?


  5. I made some L-cello gave it to my brother. Him and his friends mixed it with sake they enjoyed it . I made more L-cello from some myers lemons that had done some crossing with some oranges [both trees in backyard] . we are enjoying this straight up icey cold . I want to try this orangey goodness with champagne


    • I’m intrigued by the Sake idea, especially since I’m not a fan of the stuff. Then again, it’s been awhile since I’ve had it.

      Agreed on your Champagne suggestion. A boozy, lemony Mimosa variation. Could be really tasty!


  6. Two immediate thoughts:

    Limoncello Mojito (don’t think anyone has suggested this yet)

    In a highball glass, muddle a splash of simple syrup (probably not more than a 1/2 oz if the limoncello is already fairly sweet) and a couple of lime quarters (half what you would normally use for a mojito) with a handful of fresh mint leaves. Add 1 oz each white rum and limoncello, and ice. Top with 3 oz seltzer.

    Gin-Limon Refresher (surely there’s a better name than this, though)

    Muddle 2-3 fresh cucumber slices, 4-5 basil leaves, and a couple of sliced kumquats (or pineapple chunks) in the bottom of a highball glass. Add 1 oz each dry gin and limoncello; stir to combine. Top with ice and 3 oz seltzer with a cucumber garnish.


    • Oh Susannah! (I know I know. Not very original at all, but I just couldn’t resist.)

      I was thinking Mojito as well since I think this would work very well with the mint and rum. The second one sounds tasty too. Reminds me of the Hendricks Cooler to a degree but with a much more citrusy vibe.

      Great work! Stay tuned for the follow up posts. Thanks for joining in on the boozy fun!



  7. What all the suggestions so far lack is volume. If you are replete with limoncello you need a high quantity party recipe to share with friends and reduce you lemony stock quickly. I give you:

    The Wookie’s Limon Pledge Punch

    2 cups Lemoncello
    8 cups Cranberry Juice
    2 cups Cruzan Black Strap Rum
    1 cup Aged Silver Light Rum
    Add some sliced fruit (one sliced lemon, orange, lime, etc..)

    Mix, Chill, find some friends, serve over ice in a red Solo cup and garnish with lime wedge.


    • Sounds tasty AND deadly! Bravo!

      Only one question. What if you float some 151 on top after each pour and light it on fire? That should amp up the deadly quotient.


      • Now that’s just crazy talk. You took my drink and turned it into the Flaming Moe (aka the Flaming Homer). I suppose you was to add a little cough syrup to it as well:

        Flaming beverages are only good for you follicularly challenged people, those of us that are of the hirsute persuasion avoid flaming beverages at all cost.


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