Ciao bella!! If you’re looking for fun and unique limoncello cocktail recipes, you’ve come to the right place. While most people just use limoncello in simple spritzes or drink it alone as a digestif, there are SO many other tasty limoncello cocktails that are worth making!
What Is Limoncello?
Limoncello is a lemon-flavored Italian liqueur made with lemon zest, sugar, water, and a neutral spirit like vodka. The alcohol content of limoncello will vary depending on the bottle, but usually it’s around 30% ABV.
While we know limoncello originally came from Southern Italy, its specific origin is mysterious and debated. Some say it originated in Sicily, others claim it was first produced in the Amalfi Coast.
Regardless of its exact origin, one thing’s for certain: it’s one of the most popular liqueurs in Italy and beloved all around the world!
There are several well-known brands of limoncello such as Caravella and Pallini, but many opt to make their own homemade limoncello! (It might sound like a lot of work, but it’s actually super easy and is a great housewarming or holiday gift!)
If you’re lazy like me though and don’t want to make it at home, my favorite brand of limoncello for cocktails is hands down Pallini. It’s an all-natural, classic style of limoncello for a great price.
Taste-wise, limoncello has a tart acidity that’s balanced out by flavors of rich, sweet candied lemon and a velvety texture. Traditionally, it’s served chilled as an after-dinner digestif since it’s so refreshing, but it’s also just as delicious in cocktails!
What to Mix with Limoncello
Limoncello is wonderful on its own, but also surprisingly versatile since it can add both sweetness and acidity to a cocktail. Below are some popular mixers, but this is by no means an exhaustive list!
You wouldn't necessarily think to pair limoncello with bourbon, but trust me: it's soooo good! This creative recipe combines limoncello, bourbon, lemon juice, peach preserves, fresh herbs, and bitters.
Lemon, peach, and whiskey are all flavors that work wonderfully together and this cocktail almost reminds me of a boozy Southern peach iced tea. YUM.
I'm obsessed with the beautiful color of this cocktail! It's a lemon-forward take on a Corpse Reviver, which is a family of classic cocktails that are supposed to be potent enough to revive the dead (or just the hungover).
The color comes from using Empress Gin, which is bright violet in hue. In a pinch though, you can use normal gin as well and it'll be just as tasty. The only other ingredients you need are lemon juice, Lillet Blanc, and simple syrup.
This cocktail is a simple but fun and unexpected take on a mojito!
Traditionally, a mojito is made with rum, mint, simple syrup, and lime juice. In this recipe, you use all of the above ingredients along with a shot of limoncello to make this classic cocktail even more citrusy and refreshing.
Usually when people order a lemon drop, they're asking for a shot of vodka and lemon juice with a sugar rim. So this cocktail is basically an elevated, higher volume format of the shot that adds in limoncello for complexity and an extra lemon-y kick. It's boozy, balanced, and oh-so tasty!
This cocktail is basically springtime in a glass! It also only requires 4 ingredients: gin, limoncello, fresh thyme, and lime juice. Perfect if you need a unique, refreshing big batch cocktail that everyone will love!
Sours are a family of cocktails that have a base spirit, citrus, sweetener, and often egg white, which gives cocktails richness and a frothy texture.
This take on a sour is beautifully simple but will still impress your friends. All you need is limoncello, gin, lemon juice, ginger syrup, and egg white. I love the addition of ginger syrup, which will add a spicy sweetness to both complement and balance out the limoncello.
Here's a slightly more advanced version of a sour that's absolutely gorgeous in a glass! It gets its bright red hue from a homemade raspberry thyme shrub, which is made with apple cider vinegar, sugar, raspberries, and thyme.
If you haven't had shrub before, it's really a game changer. It's basically fruit-infused vinegar syrup, and it adds so much depth to cocktails. The only other ingredients for this drink are limoncello, vodka, lemon juice, and egg white. Perfect for spring or summertime sipping!
In this recipe, you make a super fun smash cocktail with muddled blackberries, gin, and limoncello.
It's fruity, tart, and floral all at once and packs in SO much flavor for a three ingredient cocktail. This is another one that's perfect for warm weather and will surprise your cocktail savvy friends.
Here's a lighter cocktail that's perfect for hot weather and so much more fun than a simple spritz!
It uses one of my favorite summertime combinations of fresh watermelon and mint along with limoncello, Prosecco, and a little sugar. It's basically a garden party in a glass, and who wouldn't want that!?
The only thing more refreshing than a moscow mule is a moscow mule with limoncello!
This creative recipe also adds in lavender extract for extra floral flavors and aromatics. The only other ingredient you need is ginger beer, so it's another simple but unique drink that whips up in less than a minute!
You've almost definitely heard of a tequila sunrise, which is tequila, orange juice, and grenadine. But have you ever had a limoncello sunrise?? If not, get ready for a new favorite tiki drink.
Like the name implies, this is a riff on a tequila sunrise that swaps out the tequila for limoncello. So it'll be lighter, sweeter, and more citrusy than the original, and a super fun addition to brunch!
This is another cocktail that uses orange juice, but it couldn't taste more different than the limoncello sunrise! Thanks to the campari, which is a red bitter Italian liqueur, this cocktail is perfectly balanced between bitter and sweet.
It's also only 4 ingredients: limoncello, campari, orange juice, and soda water, so you have no excuse not to make it!