Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

Limontselo: Greek Limoncello – Lemon Liqueur

In Greek: λιμοντσέλο, pronounced lee-mont-SEH-loh

Wherever lemons are plentiful, this liqueur is a delightful treat. This recipe produces best results when the lemons are slightly underripe (a little green).

Greek Limoncello

Greek Limoncello


  • 10 lemons
  • 1 quart + 1/4 cup grain alcohol
  • 5 cups of sugar
  • 1 quart + 1/4 cup of water
  • .07 ounce (about 2 3/4 teaspoons) of saffron


Wash the lemons well and dry. Using a sharp knife or peeler, remove just the outer peel (zest) by cutting a strip around the diameter, getting as close to the outer peel as possible (leaving the white inner peel behind, or scraping it off afterwards). Try to get the zest of each lemon in one piece but if getting it all in one piece isn’t possible, try for the longest possible strips.

Use a wide-mouth glass jar (with a tight-fitting lid). Place lemon zest and grain alcohol in the jar and close tightly. Allow to sit in a cool, dry place (or in the refrigerator) for 4 days.

When the 4 days are up, combine water and sugar in a pot and stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook for 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the pot.

Strain the alcohol and discard lemon zest.

Combine the alcohol, cooled syrup, and saffron and place in one or more glass jars or bottles. Seal and allow to sit for 2 weeks.


If the liqueur turns cloudy, when the 2 weeks are up, strain using a paper coffee filter before placing in bottles.

Pour into unused bottles with tight-fitting caps. If planning to give as gifts, use decorative bottles and/or decorative caps.

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