8 lemons

2 cups granulated sugar

2 1/2 cups water

2 vanilla beans

1 750 mL bottle of vodka (we used I Spririt Italian Vodka)


  1. Wash the lemons and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
  2. Zest each of the lemons using a grater or vegetable peeler. Only use the outer yellow part of the rind.
  3. Pour the vodka into a large glass jar. A large Mason jar should work for a single bottle of vodka. Be sure to save the vodka bottle for bottling the limoncello when it is finished.
  4. Add the lemon zest to the jar.
  5. Scrape out the small seeds out of the vanilla beans and add them to the jar along with the vanilla beans.
  6. Put the cap back on the jar and let it sit in a dark place at room temperature for 30 days.
  7. After 30 days have passed, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil for about 6 minutes.
  8. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool.
  9. Using a sieve lined with a paper coffee filter, filter the lemon rind and vanilla seeds and bean from the limoncello. Pour the pure limoncello back into the jar.
  10. Add the cooled syrup to the jar containing the limoncello. Gently mix the syrup in with the limoncello. Put the cap back onto the jar and let the mixture age for another 5 days.
  11. After 5 days have passed, using a funnel pour the limoncello back into the original vodka bottle.
  12. Store the limoncello in the freezer or refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. Serve the limoncello ice cold in shot glasses.