Marley's Menu Logo

Refreshing But Strong Limoncello Cocktail

By Marley Goldin
on June 19, 2020
last updated on August 17, 2021
5 from 1 vote

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This Refreshing But Strong Limoncello Cocktail is sweet, but strong, citrusy and fresh, and dangerously easy to drink.
Refreshing but Strong Limoncello Cocktail - Featured Image

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. And when your neighbor brings you homemade limoncello, you make a Refreshing But Strong Limoncello Cocktail.

What makes this cocktail great? It’s sweet but strong, citrusy and fresh, and dangerously easy to drink. All thanks to the limoncello, basil, and sugar rim.

I am generally a dark liquor cocktail kinda gal, but I’ve recently started experimenting more with clear liquors including Limoncello. And guys. I think I’m in love. There are three elements that will make you fall in love with this cocktail, too.

Refreshing But Strong Limoncello Cocktail Elements


Limoncello is an Italian spirit comprised of lemons, sugar, water, and alcohol. It’s fairly simple to make, but requires super fresh lemons and time to age for the flavors to all meld together.

My parent’s neighbor has a lemon tree and plucks the most beautiful, fresh, organic lemons every year to make homemade Limoncello for the whole neighborhood.

It can be (and often is in our house) drunken as is, but it’s rather tart. Which makes it the PERFECT base for a refreshing cocktail.

Portrait of Limoncello Cocktail With Bottle in Background


If you’ve tried my Two-Step Pesto recipe, you know that I’m always looking for ways to use the abundance of basil I harvest from my basil plant.

It is PERFECT in cocktails.

In this one, it teams up with the simple syrup to add extra sweetness and contrasts beautifully with the tartness of the lemon and limoncello. It gives you an element of freshness that no refreshing cocktail can be without.

Green tip: Growing your own herbs is a delicious way to reduce your environmental footprint if it is an option for you. Homegrown herbs have zero associated food miles, no pesky plastic packaging, and are free of damaging fertilizers and chemicals.

Plus, they are just so fresh and flavorful!

The Sugar Rim

A sugar rim is the best compliment to any tart drink. Plus, it looks great (we drink with our eyes first!) and it adds a little texture. It’s what steps this cocktail up and makes you feel like you are sipping in paradise.

It’s simple to do. Just wet the rim of your glass with lime and then dip it into sugar. You can put the sugar on a plate, in a shallow bowl, or easiest of all—use a cocktail rimmer.

Fresh Lime

This cocktail recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of lime juice, which you should be able to get out of 1/2 of a lime. You can use pre-squeezed lime juice in a pinch, but fresh lime really goes a long way!

Closeup of Sugar Rim

Why You Should Make This Limoncello Cocktail

  • It’s refreshing, but strong. Have I driven this point home yet?
  • That sugar rim. I mean, come on.
  • It’s balanced! Perfect combo of sweet and tart.

If you’re loving this Limoncello Cocktail and want to explore more fun cocktail ideas, check out this list of 10+ Mixology Cocktails To Try At Home!

Refreshing But Strong Limoncello Cocktail

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Marley Goldin Course: CocktailsCuisine: Italian


Prep time


Total time



This Refreshing But Strong Limoncello Cocktail is sweet but strong, citrusy and fresh, and dangerously easy to drink.


  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) Limoncello

  • 5 leaves basil + more for garnish

  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Vodka

  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) simple syrup

  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) club soda

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (juice of 1/2 lime)

  • sugar for the rim


  • Muddle the basil and limoncello in a shaker.
  • Add vodka, simple syrup, juice of half a lime, and ice. Shake well.Limoncello - Cocktail Shaker |
  • Use the leftover lime to wet the rim of 2 glasses, and then dip the rims in sugar. Add ice to the glasses and pour the contents of the cocktail mixer evenly into each glass.
  • Top off with 2 ounces each of club soda each, some basil for garnish, and serve cold.

Pro Tips

  • If you don’t have a muddler, you can just use a wooden spoon. Mashing the basil in the limoncello will get you the most out of the basil flavor, so don’t skip this step!

Did you make this recipe?

Snap a pic and tag @marleysmenu on Instagram

This recipe taste as good as it looks?

Pin it and follow us @marleysmenublog on Pinterest

Love this recipe?

Like us on Facebook


You'll Also Love

Comment on & Rate this Recipe

I very much hope you enjoyed this recipe!

If you did, please give it a star rating, which will help other people just like you find and enjoy the recipe too 😊

If you have any comments, questions or thoughts on the recipe, be sure to let me know in the comments as well. I read each and every one and would love to hear from you!

1 thought on “Refreshing But Strong Limoncello Cocktail”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *