I swear, this started out as a Cretan Limoncello…


See the Greek version of this post Panagiotis Plotas is an old friend who sends recipes from time to time. Today, he went for some Cretan limoncello.


  • 4 large yellow lemons
  • 1 bottle of tsikoudia (aka raki) (750 ml)
  • 300 grams white sugar
  • 150 grams water
  • 1 shots glass
  • 1 big jar (more or less 1.5 litres)

Preparation time: 5 days

Do it:

Wash the lemons thoroughly and leave them to dry.

Squeeze the lemons and put the juice in a bottle that closes tightly (no air should be allowed in) and refrigerate (so we have fresh juice for about 1 week). You can also put it in ice cube trays and freeze it (so we have juice for 2-3 months).

Peel the lemon skins and cut them into small pieces. Try to get rid of the white bitter inside.

Fill the shots glass with a bit of tsikoudia for good luck and drink the lot in one go.

Put the lemon peel and 150 grams of sugar in your jar. Shake to mix.

Once more, fill the shots glass with tsikoudia and drink the lot in one go. As the Greeks say, “one is like none”. Pour the rest of the tsikoudia in the jar and close it.

Put the jar in the shade (maybe a cupboard) and shake it once a day.

On the 5th day, strain the liquid and pour it in a bottle – preferably your tsikoudia bottle.

In a small saucepan put 150 grams sugar and 150 grams of water – maybe a bit more – and stir all the time. When the sugar is dissolved completely leave it to cool a bit and then pour in with the juice in your bottle. Shake well and your drink is ready.

It keeps well in the fridge.

Attention: Do not place in the fridge while it is still warm, leave out to cool completely.


1. I usually prepare two bottles: One big one for the fridge (for normal use) and one smaller (250ml) that I put in the freezer. This works wonders for shots.

2. I have also tried the recipe with orange (it’s great but it needs less sugar) and with strawberries (before you put them in the liquid leave them to sit in the fridge for a day, with the sugar stirred in)

3. Instead of tsikoudia you can use vodka or rum. With rum you can also use brown sugar, it works a treat. If you also add some spearmint you’ve got the basis for a home made Mojito mix.

Panagiotis Plotas

Photo: Lemons of the Cinque Terre by BlogfromItaly

One thought on “I swear, this started out as a Cretan Limoncello…

  1. Pingback: Sour Power (part A) | Cool lemonade | Digital Scullery

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