Sunday, June 1, 2014

Limoncello and Arancello

     Italian's are known for their wine, their pasta, their cappuccino/espresso, etc. Many of our words in the English language are really from the Italian language and we forget that they are not English. Think of every pasta you know of.... Those are Italian words. Think of how popular your local coffee shop is or the famous Starbucks..... Those coffee names are Italian. See Italians are known for so many contributions to the American culture we tend to forget their origin.

     I have posted a couple times about our families wine making.  A tradition that has been handed down in my family for many years. Many people do not know that Italians are also famous for making liqueur drinks. Many after dinner drinks are so popular in Italian families that we seem to forget that not everyone knows about them. It is quite common after many courses of a meal in an Italian family that the meal is followed up with not only possibly a coffee drink but a nice shot of Italian liqueur. A good one that hits right at the bottom of your stomach. One that makes you feel relaxed, at home, and satisfied after a wonderful meal. A great liqueur that not only compliments the meal but completes it.

     Since it is summer time there are a few after dinner drinks that are perfect for the rising temperatures. The most famous of these is Limoncello. A lemon flavored liqueur chilled and sipped on. Another is its newest brother liqueur made out of oranges called Arancello.  Both of these are the perfect accompaniment to a refreshing summer meal. They're both easy to make and take very little time. The final product is so tantalizing that you won’t believe you made it all by yourself.  One of our cousins, Anita, gave us the recipe for these liqueurs. My cousin Claire and I decided to try our hands at it. So I am pleased to introduce you to our family’s recipe for Limoncello and Arancello. If you have never had these drinks, welcome to the world of Italian liqueurs and enjoy.

  • 8 lemons
  • 8 oranges
  • 2 liters grain alcohol
  • 2 liters water
  • 8 cups, (or 2 lbs), sugar

     First stage: Peel the skin off of your lemons and oranges. Place the peels into separate pitchers and cover with a liter each of grain alcohol. (We used Everclear. 2 bottles a piece to equal a liter roughly). Cover with plastic wrap and seal tightly for 5 days.

Claire peeling lemons

The first stage

     Second Stage: After five days take 1 liter of water and boil on the stove. Turn off the heat and mix in 4 cups of sugar until dissolved. Let cool for about an hour and then pour into the peel liqueur mixture. Recover and seal tightly for another 5 days.

Sugar water mixture

Second stage

     Third Stage: Strain your mixtures into another separate pitcher and then bottle. We chose nice little bottles with the metal and ceramic stoppers. Refrigerate immediately and enjoy! You can actually keep the original mixture with the peels covered for months if you want an even more full bodied drink. We chose a shorter period.

     Each batch makes about 2 liters a piece and we were able to fill about 4 each of the bottles we chose. We named ours too. Our Limoncello we called Loco Limoncello and our Arancello we named Arousing Arancello. These liquors will be perfect for our family reunion and summer picnic. The flavors and coolness of these two make a great after dinner sipping drink.  I am pretty sure we will all be a bit tipsy after a few of these. 


Loco Limoncello

Arousing Arancello



  1. These are fabulous! I love the family story behind your post and then, of course, the recipes!! Great pics, too.

  2. Thanks Betsy. You should give them a try.