Emeril Lagasse’s new cookbook, Essential Emeril, is now available for pre-order!

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Capture the bright taste of the freshest lemons by making your own limoncello like they do at Emeril's Delmonico. Put it in pretty bottles for holiday gifts -- friends will be sure to return your bottles in hopes that they might be refilled again next year!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes, 4 days resting
  • Total Time: 4 days
  • Yield: 2 quarts


  • 12 lemons
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle vodka
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar


  • Using a microplane, remove the peel from the lemons (reserve the lemons for another use).

  • Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart pitcher. Pour the vodka over the lemon peels, cover and steep for 4 to 5 days at room temperature.

  • Heat the water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and makes a syrup. Cool completely. Pour the sugar syrup into the vodka mixture.

  • Let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain limoncello into bottle, discarding the peels. Add additional decorative peels to bottle, seal and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 12 months.