4 Ways to Serve Limoncello

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4 Ways to Serve Limoncello
4 Ways to Serve Limoncello

Limoncello is a popular alcoholic drink from Italy and has a refreshing sweet taste, perfect to drink in summer and after dinner. It doesn't take lemon juice, but zest from its rind to gain its characteristic flavor, getting more bittersweet than sour. The ideal is to serve this cold drink and together with some cocktails that have drinks such as wine, vodka or gin in the recipe.


Limoncello with Prosecco

  • 6 frozen raspberries.
  • 30 ml of limoncello.
  • 150 ml of Prosecco
  • Cherry in syrup or mint leaf to garnish.

Makes 1 serving.

limoncello martini

  • Sugar.
  • 1/4 lemon.
  • 30 ml of limoncello.
  • 90 ml of vodka.
  • 15 ml of lemon juice.
  • Lemon slice for garnish.

Makes 1 serving.

Limoncello with Gin

  • Fresh thyme branch.
  • 30 ml of gin.
  • 25 ml of limoncello
  • 8 ml of lemon juice
  • 120 ml of tonic water.
  • Lemon slice for garnish.

Makes 1 serving.


Method 1 of 4: Taking pure limoncello

Serves Limoncello Step 1

Step 1. Leave the limoncello in the fridge

It should be eaten chilled. Put the drink in the refrigerator at least an hour before drinking to leave the flavor more refined and cool down in the heat. Limoncello can also go to the freezer because it doesn't freeze.

It is not necessary to freeze the limoncello. Since it has a lot of alcohol and sugar, the drink is safe to consume at room temperature, but it is customary to drink it cold

Serves Limoncello Step 2

Step 2. Freeze a bowl by filling it with ice cubes

Fill a shot glass or ice goblet to the top. Crushed ice works better than rock ice because it will cover a larger surface of the cup or glass. Leave the ice in the glass for a few minutes and remove when serving the limoncello.

  • It's okay to use a “hot” glass if you don't have time to chill it, but this detail helps bring the limoncello's flavor to the fore. Let the limoncello freeze first to make up for the hot glass.
  • Another way to chill a glass is to fill an ice bucket and place the glass upside down in it for 30 minutes.
  • If you prefer, leave the cup or bowl in the freezer for up to four hours. As long as the glass is empty, it won't break. Freezing glasses like this ensures that they will stay at a low temperature longer than those that have been on ice for a few minutes.
Serves Limoncello Step 3

Step 3. Place the limoncello in a shot glass

It is common to serve a taste of limoncello in shot glasses or goblet glasses. These elegant glasses go well with this Italian drink, but any small glass for alcoholic beverages will do as well. In some regions of Italy, limoncello is served in ceramic serving cups.

Drinking glasses are more effective at keeping limoncello cool, but they are easy to break. Also, they have about the same capacity as a shot glass, so they aren't necessary

Serves Limoncello Step 4

Step 4. Serve limoncello before or after a meal

This drink is considered good for the digestion and is often served at the end of a dinner or lunch along with desserts. It's the kind of drink to sip and relax, and it's great for clearing the palate after a heavy meal (but can be consumed at any time of day).

  • Limoncello is usually served straight, without ice. Add ice if it is hot or the cup is hot.
  • Some people prefer to serve limoncello at random times rather than having an appointment. Don't be afraid to enjoy the drink as you prefer!

Method 2 of 4: Limoncello with Prosecco

Serves Limoncello Step 5

Step 1. Leave a glass of champagne in the freezer for up to four hours

Freeze the glass before the time you intend to serve the limoncello. If you don't have a glass of champagne, use one of wine. The chilled cup will keep the drink cold and bring out the most flavor of it.

This drink is not usually made with ice, so if you plan on chilling your glasses by adding ice, take it out before opening the limoncello

Serves Limoncello Step 6

Step 2. Put raspberries or other fruits in the chilled bowl

Make a mixture of fruits to transform a drink of limoncello with Prosecco into a unique experience. For example, put about six frozen raspberries in the bowl to counterbalance the flavor of the limoncello and the Prosecco grape. No need to mash the fruit.

Prosecco has a dry but sweet flavor, reminiscent of green apples and melons. Other fruits that are also good with it: blueberries, raspberries and lemons

Serves Limoncello Step 7

Step 3. Mix the limoncello and Prosecco in the glass

Add 30 ml of limoncello and 150 ml of Prosecco. Use a ballerina (a special drink spoon) to stir the drinks together. Change doses if preferred.

  • For example, add more limoncello to make the flavor more pungent or more Prosecco to make the lemon flavor more subtle.
  • Mix the drink in an aluminum jar if serving several people at once. Mix three cups of Prosecco with one of limoncello.
Serves Limoncello Step 8

Step 4. Garnish the bowl with fresh cherries or mint

This does not change the taste of the drink at all, but makes the appearance more striking. Buy pickled cherries and place one on the rim of the glass. Add a sprig of mint to contrast with the yellow color of the drink and the red of the cherry.

The embellishment is free! Put a slice of lemon, for example, to represent limoncello

Method 3 of 4: Limoncello Martini

Serves Limoncello Step 9

Step 1. Put a martini glass in the fridge and leave it until it feels cool to the touch

Leave it in the fridge or freezer for up to four hours if you have time. If not, freeze quickly just to bring out the flavor of the limoncello.

Martinis are not served with ice, that is, either the drink or the glass needs to be chilled for the result to be excellent

Serves Limoncello Step 10

Step 2. Pass the rim of the bowl in the sugar to cover

Sugar won't stick in the bowl without something to help. Sprinkle lemon juice along the rim, rubbing ¼ of lemon until completely around. Then put white sugar in a straight container and place the cup upside down in it.

You've probably seen a bartender dip his glass in sugar, and while this works, too much sugar ends up on the rim and can spoil the martini's taste

Serves Limoncello Step 11

Step 3. Mix vodka, limoncello and lemon juice in a shaker filled with ice

Fill the shaker with as much ice as possible and then add the drinks. Mix 30ml of limoncello with 45ml of vodka and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Shake the ingredients until they are cool and well mixed.

  • Any type of vodka works, but try making it with flavored vodka to add a special touch to the cocktail. Citrus flavored vodkas give more emphasis to limoncello notes, for example.
  • Add other ingredients (optional). For example, use lemonade in place of lemon juice and semi-skimmed milk to make a lemon meringue martini. If you choose a lemonade with soda water, don't shake the martini or you risk exploding the shaker.
Serves Limoncello Step 12

Step 4. Sift the drink and drop it into the martini glass

Take a small metal strainer, made for alcoholic beverages, and hold it in front of the open shaker if it doesn't have a built-in filtering piece. Use your fingers to hold it in place as you tilt the shaker so that it keeps the ice away and just let the ready cocktail drop into the glass.

Serves Limoncello Step 13

Step 5. Garnish the martini with a lemon wedge

Cut the lemon into slices and use a small notch knife to make a slit between the middle of the slice and one of the edges. Place the slice on the edge of the cup using this slot to fit. This doesn't change the flavor at all, but improves the presentation of the cocktail and represents the limoncello.

Method 4 of 4: Limoncello with Gin

Serves Limoncello Step 14

Step 1. Chill an “on the rocks” or “old fashoned” glass while preparing the cocktail

Fill the glass to the top with ice. You're going to serve the drink on top of the ice yourself, so putting it now is a quick way to prepare the glass. If you prefer, leave the glass in the freezer for up to four hours to keep it cold without having to worry about the ice melting.

If you don't know exactly what this glass looks like, it is short, round and is often used to serve strong drinks such as whiskey. They usually have a capacity of 180 to 240 ml of drink

Serves Limoncello Step 15

Step 2. Macere thyme or whatever herbs you prefer.

Place the fresh herbs in a mixing glass or a shaker. Take the tamper, force it and turn it three or four times until the herbs release their fragrance. These ingredients, including thyme and basil, add a unique flavor to the drink, but can be left out if you don't have them on hand.

  • Grill the thyme to make the drink even more personalized. Heat the oven to 260°C or even a barbecue grill and hold the thyme sprawled on the baking sheet or grill for about 15 seconds until it is browned and starts to give off a different aroma.
  • If you don't have a punch, use something similar, like the handle of a wooden spoon.
Serves Limoncello Step 16

Step 3. Put the gin, limoncello and citrus juice in the shaker

It is recommended to add 30 ml of your favorite gin and 25 ml of limoncello. Pour straight into the cup with the herbs, if including them. Then add 8 ml of fresh lemon juice to make the drink more pungent, like lemonade.

  • Adjust the proportions of the drinks according to your taste. For example, go slower in limoncello, adding only 15 ml and increasing the amount of gin.
  • In place of lemon juice, try adding lime juice to make the cocktail more varied, or don't add it if you prefer the drink to be less sour.
Serves Limoncello Step 17

Step 4. Fill the ice cup and mix the drinks

If using a glass, get a ballerina and stir the ice. If the drinks are in the cocktail shaker, cover and shake until everything is well mixed.

Serve the drink in a cold glass so you have a place to put the ingredients right away. Ice will melt over time and will make the drink more watery, which spoils the taste

Serves Limoncello Step 18

Step 5. Sift the drink and drop it into a whiskey glass filled with ice

Put the chilled glass on a flat surface and fill it with ice cubes. Grab a metal drinking strainer and hold it in front of the shaker or glass with your fingers while pouring in the gin-limoncello mixture.

Some cocktail shakers have built-in sieves, which are a hole-filled piece that sits under the lid. You don't have to do anything special to use this piece

Serves Limoncello Step 19

Step 6. Pour 120 ml of tonic water into the cocktail

Pour the tonic water directly into the glass to make it bubble and fizz. Use a ballerina to stir the drink until the tonic water is integrated into the limoncello and gin.

This gin-and-limoncello drink, also called “limoncello Collins”, is often served with tonic water. If you don't have it, use it without it. The cocktail will be stronger, but the macerated herbs, for example, will compensate for the sharp flavor

Serves Limoncello Step 20

Step 7. Garnish the glass with lemon wedges before serving

Cut a fresh lemon into slices about 2 cm thick. Cut a slit from the middle to one edge of the slice, just enough to fit over the edge of a glass. Add more, if you like, to emphasize the sour taste of limoncello in the mix.

Use other ingredients to decorate and reflect what makes up that drink. For example, add a fresh bunch of thyme if you added another macerate when preparing the drink


  • Mix limoncello with other alcoholic drinks or fruit juices to make your own cocktail. It goes with many things, from strawberry juice to vodka.
  • There are variations of limoncello that use other fruits in place of lemon. For example, larancello is made from oranges and fragoncello is made from strawberries.
  • It's easy to make fresh limoncello at home using vodka, lemon and sugar.
  • Limoncello is also widely used in desserts. Use it to flavor gelato ice cream, cakes, cheesecakes and other recipes.


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