Homemade is always best! I love this Italian liqueur, and making limoncello is a snap. It only requires a bit of patience, as the whole process requires about 5 days. This delightful concoction stays in the refrigerator, at the ready for an adult beverage on a leisurely summer afternoon or evening. If you're an on-the-rocks lover, this will make you happy, indeed. I like it as a component to a variety of drinks; there are several recipes using limoncello coming, a Strawberry-Lemon Bellini with a virgin version this month! (Feel free to halve the recipe to start, or if you don't think you need that much in your refrigerator!)
1 bottle vodka (750-ml)
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup strained freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3 cups sugar
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemons, being careful not to take the white part. (Remove any white pith from the peels with a paring knife.) Place the peel into a 2 quart non-reactive container, preferably glass. Pour the vodka over the peels and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Let the peels steep in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature.
Stir together the water, lemon juice, and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely, 5-8 minutes. Cool completely. Pour the lemon simple syrup mixture into the vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer. Discard the peels. Transfer the limoncello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and it will keep in the refrigerator up to 1 month.