The College Housewife » Recipes » Limoncello Martini

Limoncello Martini

This fabulous Limoncello Martini is shaken with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup, giving a whole new meaning to sour and sweet. All it takes is 4 basic ingredients to escape to the Italian countryside, with plenty of snacks nearby.

limoncello martini poured into coupe glass with cocktail shaker on side

Why you’ll love this limoncello martini recipe

Bright, sunny and citrusy! If there were ever a perfect drink, this would be it. The vodka acts as a blank canvas against sweet, strong and tart limoncello. And the fresh lemon juice and simple syrup add the right amount of tart and sweet flavors. Well balanced, beautifully golden and fantastically sippable.

An Italian lover’s dream! The limoncello liquor truly shines since there are only 4 ingredients in this martini with limoncello. I like to think it adds a special Italian flair to your bar cart — right next to the Aperol for (spritz and sours) and Campari (for all those negronis). Plus, it’s one of those time-honored cordials that honors lemon in all its glory.

Cute, classy and elegant! One of my favorite parts about this cocktail is that it is perfect for one, two, three or the whole gang. It’s just the thing you need as an ending to a busy day but also bodes well at parties, picnics, elegant dinners and so much more.

best Italian cocktail with limoncello in coupe glass with fresh lemon

Ingredients

Today’s drink takes inspiration from the classic lemon drop martini and gives it an Italian twist. Here’s what you need:

  • Vodka
  • Limoncello
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Simple Syrup

Step by steps on how to make a limoncello martini with vodka, fresh lemon juice, ice and a cocktail shaker

How to make a limoncello martini

A quick shake in your favorite cocktail shaker and you have a gorgeous lemon martini right before your eyes.

  1. Shake: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka, limoncello, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake for 20-30 seconds, or until the shaker is frothy and ice cold. 
  2. Strain: Strain into a martini or coupe glass and garnish with a lemon slice. 

SPRITZ OPTION: Top off with your favorite lemon Pellegrino, sparkling water or Prosecco for a limoncello spritz. Serve over ice, if desired.

G0 for a lemon peel garnish (optional)

A lemon peel garnish makes it pretty and gives that extra touch of finesse. Plus, if you’re only making a few cocktails, it takes just a few minutes and is SO easy. Simply:

  • Peel a whole lemon with a vegetable peeler.
  • Cut fine strips from the peel with a sharp paring knife.
  • Wrap it tightly around a skewer or simply twist it with your fingers and hold for 3-5 seconds.

Tip: Make sure you use fresh lemons. If the skin is wrinkled or too soft, you won’t get the twist you’re looking for.

limoncello martini in coupe glass with fresh lemon

When to drink limoncello martini

This limoncello martini recipe is great to serve as an aperitif, or during cocktail hour, especially if you’re just getting the party started! But it also goes great as a late-night drink with the guys and gals. Some of my favorites snacks to pair it with include:

Double, triple, quadruple the recipe

To make it for a crowd, multiply the ingredient measurements by however many cocktails you need and mix it all in either a very large cocktail shaker or pitcher filled about halfway with ice. Once cold, strain out the ice immediately to prevent it from diluting the cocktail. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Recipe tips:

  • Get a high-quality limoncello made from Almafi lemons. Many big brands use lemon powder instead of real lemons, so try to avoid the ones that appear neon or unusually bright. Caravella, Pallini and Pococello are both trusted brands.
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. This will give you the best lemon flavor.
  • Make a quick simple syrup. You can buy it at the liquor store, but it’s so easy to make. Simply bring equal parts water and sugar (I usually do 1 cup each and store the remainder in the fridge) to a boil over medium heat and stir just until the sugar dissolves. It should only take about 2-3 minutes.
  • Small pieces of lemon are okay. It’s possible you will get small pieces of lemon bits in your cocktail if you don’t you a fine mesh strainer. The pieces are just as delicious and do not affect the taste.

Limoncello martini FAQs

What type of alcohol is limoncello?

Limoncello is made by steeping lemon zest (peels) in vodka until the oils release. This yellow liquid is then mixed with simple syrup to balance the taste.

What goes best with limoncello?

Limoncello is best served mixed in a cocktail before a meal with crunchy, savory snacks or just after a big meal, all on its own.

Do you drink limoncello straight?

Limoncello can be drunk straight and it is best enjoyed chilled. Always pour it directly from the freezer in a chilled shot or cordial glass, and savor its flavor.

Do you need to refrigerate limoncello?

Limoncello does not need to be refrigerated for long-term storage. However, I store mine in the freezer just like they do on the Amalfi Coast.

Looking for more martini and cocktail recipes? Check these out!

If you make this Limoncello Martini recipe, be sure to tag me on Pinterest and Instagram!

I seriously love seeing what you guys are making and sharing your creations with the College Housewife community!

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limoncello martini poured into coupe glass with cocktail shaker on side

Limoncello Martini

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Cocktail Shaker
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This fabulous Limoncello Martini is shaken with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup, giving a whole new meaning to sour and sweet. All it takes is 4 basic ingredients to escape to the Italian countryside, with plenty of snacks nearby.


Ingredients

Scale

2 oz vodka

1 oz limoncello

1 oz fresh lemon juice

½ oz simple syrup


Instructions

  1. Shake: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka, limoncello, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake for 20-30 seconds, or until the shaker is frothy and ice cold. 
  2. Strain: Strain into a martini or coupe glass and garnish with a lemon slice.

Notes

SPRITZ OPTION: Top off with your favorite lemon Pellegrino, sparkling water or Prosecco for a limoncello spritz. Serve over ice, if desired.

Keywords: lemon, cocktail, summer

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