Italian Limoncello or Italian Arancelo

Catherine Grilli Recipe

By Catherine Grilli Oldgreyfroggy


My husband and I have traveled to Italy to visit my husband's ancestral home. I've always enjoyed this lemon-flavored liqueur. Living in Arizona, I have access to fresh lemons and fresh oranges from my own trees. I know this recipe is a bit involved and takes patience to make and can be a bit messy but all the work is worth the effort. The Arancello works great in homemade Margaritas instead of Triple Sec or Cointreau. My Mom also loves a dollop in her tea before heading to bed.

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1 (750 ml) bottle
everclear (95% alcohol - 190 proof)
1 (750 ml) bottle
vodka (premium 40% alcohol - 80 proof)
large thick skinned lemons or oranges
3 c
filtered tap water
4 c
white sugar

Directions Step-By-Step

Pour the bottle of Everclear and the bottle of vodka into a gallon jar.
Try to use organic lemons or oranges or make sure lemons or oranges are cleaned to remove any chemicals, pesticides, dirt, and wax.
Dry the lemons. Using a potato peeler, peel off just the yellow/orange part of the skin without any of the pith.
Put the lemon/orange peels in jar and stir gently.
Cover tightly and put away in a cool (not cold) dark place for the alcohol to extract oils from the peels.
Gently stir lemon/orange peels once a week for four weeks.
At the end of the fourth week, scoop out the lemon/orange peels and discard. Using coffee filters, filter remaining liquid two times before proceeding.
Make a simple syrup by dissolving sugar in water. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Add cooled simple syrup to filtered lemon/orange infusion. Return jar to cool dark place for 40 more days.
Filter resultant liqueur two more times, using coffee filters. Pour into bottles, label, and enjoy. The longer the limoncello/arancello ages, the better the flavor will be.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Other Drinks
Hashtags: #limoncello, #Arancello

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Barbara Miller bjmiller26
May 24, 2011
Can't wait to try this out! Sounds great! And I'm already planning out how I can turn this into blackberry!
Annamaria Settanni McDonald ArtByASM
May 24, 2011
My mom makes this and she learned from my Aunt Consiglia (her sister in Italy) It's awesome!
Lyn Oldaker calico
May 25, 2011
Thanks Catherine, I will give it a try and I may share....

Who's your friend in your photo?

Catherine Grilli Oldgreyfroggy
May 25, 2011
My friend in the photo is a bronze statue at the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center near Las Vegas. He's a Chuckwalla. Of course, they really don't grow that big. LOL.
Lyn Oldaker calico
May 25, 2011
I think we can all be greatful that they don't grow that big.

Jul 21, 2011 - Kim Biegacki shared this recipe with discussion groups: Lemons Lemons and Lemons The Power of Orange
Nov 7, 2011 - S I shared this recipe with discussion group: Let's Have a Drink!
Diana Hohman FloridaGal
Jul 28, 2012
I was so glad to find this recipe! Can't wait to try it!
Carol Harpel Kitzer
Aug 28, 2012
It's August!!
I'm going to give this a try later in the year. And also find out if Everclear is 'legal' in Minnesota!!
My sister makes this, but I don't know her recipe. She got it from a friends Mother who has a very well know Italian Restaurant in San Francisco area. The taste is awesome! I'll have to get and compare her recipe to yours.
Thanks Catherine!
Saved and Printed.
Patricia Goodhue Patriciagoodhue
Aug 29, 2012
Not familiar with "Everclear." Just what is it and where do you
get it? In my happy ignorance perhaps it's something to keep the
liquer "clear?"
Catherine Grilli Oldgreyfroggy
Aug 29, 2012
Everclear can be purchased at most liquor stores. It's a clear alcohol with HIGH alcohol content. I "think" it's legal in Minnesota. I know it's legal in Wisconsin and Arizona. You can substitute vodka for the Everclear but the end product won't be quite the same.
Mar 7, 2015 - Bobby Webb shared this recipe with discussion group: "HOW'S YOUR WEATHER".