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Limoncello Spritz

The Limoncello Spritz hails from Italy but you don’t have to hop on a plane to sip the sweet lemony aperitivo. Instead, follow our step-by-step Limoncello Spritz recipe and sip the Italian lemon spritz at home.

Limoncello Spritz with Limoncello Bottle and Lemon

Let’s be real. The best way to sip a Limoncello Spritz is in Italy, preferably on the Amalfi Coast where the drink was invented, while lounging underneath a lemon tree.

But what about the other 50 weeks when you (and we) aren’t on vacation?

This is when it’s time to craft and drink Limoncello Spritzes at home. It’s the next best thing to sipping them in Italy.

What Is A Limoncello Spritz?

Limoncello Spritz and Lemon with Yellow Background
Is it just us or does the Limoncello Spritz scream summer?

The Limoncello Spritz is a classic Italian spritz that’s crafted with a 3:2:1 ratio of Prosecco, Limoncello and sparkling water. You’ll recognize this classic spritz ratio if you’ve previously crafted Aperol Spritzes or Hugo Spritzes at home.

Either way, it’s super easy to craft a Limoncello Spritz once you have these three ingredients.

And, while you can technically craft and drink Limoncello Spritzes at any time of year, summertime is the best time for sipping this drink. It’s sweet! It’s light! It’s bubbly! It’s yellow!

Discover our favorite summer cocktails.

History Of The Limoncello Spritz

Limoncello Spritz from Above with Black Background
You don’t have to be in Italy to drink Limoncello Spritzes.

Just like its two main ingredients (Limoncello and Prosecco), the Limoncello Spritz has roots in Italy. Southern Italy to be exact – the part of Italy where giant Sorento lemons grow with abandon and locals end meals with Limoncello shots.

This is nothing new. Southern Italians have been sipping Limoncello for more than a century. It only makes sense that one of them would get the brilliant idea of transforming the lemon liqueur into a cocktail. But who?

We like to think that a farmer with too many lemons in his basket was the first to mix Limoncello with Prosecco and fizzy water. Or maybe it was a fisherman who needed a refreshing break after pulling on heavy nets in the hot Italian sun. Then again, it would be cool if it was a nonna who whipped up the sweet tipple while stirring a pot of Genovese sauce in her steamy Napoli kitchen.

Discover more tasty Italian cocktails.

Ingredients

Limoncello Spritz Ingredients
The Limoncello Spritz’s short ingredient list includes Limoncello, Prosecco, sparkling water, a lemon and ice cubes (not pictured).

You don’t need a lot of ingredients to craft a Limoncello Spritz at home. In fact, you just need the following five items:

  • Limoncello
  • Prosecco
  • Sparkling Water
  • Lemon (for garnish)
  • Ice Cubes

Some Limoncello Spritz recipes include additional garnishes like basil, mint and rosemary. However, we purposefully keep ours herb-free to preserve the lemon flavor and to keep the Limoncello cocktail yellow.

Discover more colorful cocktails.

Limoncello

Luxardo Limoncello Bottle
Luxardo Limoncello is more than a pretty bottle. It’s also a great Italian liqueur to sip or add to cocktails like the Limoncello Spritz.

It’s no stretch to call Limoncello the most important ingredient in a Limoncello Spritz. Not only is it in the drink’s name, but it also provides the drink’s yellow color and sweet citrus flavor.

Over achievers can make Limoncello from scratch with lemon peel, vodka and sugar. The other option is to buy bottled Limoncello at a liquor store which is what we did. The difficult part was narrowing our choice of four different Limoncello bottles. Actually, it wasn’t that difficult.

It was an easy decision to buy a bottle of Luxardo Limoncello since we’re fans off the company’s maraschino cherries and maraschino liqueur. It was a good choice. Produced with Sicilian lemons, Luxardo’s Limoncello has bright flavors and a 27% ABV.

Pro Tip
Store your Limoncello bottle in the refrigerator or freezer so that it’s ready for action when and if you get a sudden Limoncello craving.

Prosecco

Reguta Prosecco Bottle
Prosecco is Italy version of Cava which is Spain’s version of Champagne.

Since the Limoncello Spritz is an Italian cocktail, it makes sense to use Prosecco instead of a different sparkling wine like Spain’s Cava or France’s Champagne. We bought a bottle of extra dry Reguta DOC Prosecco from our local market. Produced with glera grapes, it was another good choice.

Discover more sparkling wine cocktails.

Sparkling Water

Pellegrino Bottle
Although Pellegrino is produced in Italy, it’s sold in the US and other countries around the world. We bought this bottle in Portugal.

We’re not going to pretend that the brand of sparkling water really matters. However, we chose to stay with the Italian theme by purchasing a bottle of Pellegrino sparkling water for this Limoncello Spritz recipe.

We stand by this choice but understand if you’d rather use another sparkling water brand or even club soda instead.

How To Craft A Limoncello Spritz Cocktail

Limoncello Spritz Mise en Place
It’s go time once you gather the Limoncello Spritz’s ingredients and just two bar tools.

The first step in the Limoncello Spritz recipe is to carefully open a Prosecco bottle. Note that the key word here is carefully.

Pro Tip
Hold the bottle upright and direct the bottle away from your eyes and any lighting fixture before you pop the cork. Use both hands to open the bottle, twisting the cork while gently liberating it from the top.

Next, fill a glass with ice cubes. We like to use a stemless wine glass for this recipe but you can use a regular wine glass instead.

Adding Ice for Limoncello Spritz
Don’t be shy when you fill your glass with ice cubes. We filled this one almost all the way to the top.

Starting with the Limoncello, measure the the three liquid ingredients with a jigger. As always, we use a Japanese jigger to avoid spillage and ensure accurate measurements.

Buy a Japanese jigger from Amazon if you need a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

Measuring Prosecco for a Limoncello Spritz
Measuring the Limoncello, Prosecco and sparkling water is the hardest part of this Limoncello Spritz recipe.

Pour each liquid immediately into the wine glass as you measure them.

Pouring Prosecco into a Limoncello Spritz
There’s no need for a shaker or mixing glass when you craft a Limoncello Spritz at home.

Gently Stir.

Stirring Limoncello Spritz
We were careful not to over-stir this Limoncello Spritz. Doing so could flatten the bubbles.

Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Pro Tip
Feel free to add herbal garnishes like basil, mint or rosemary if that’s how you roll.

Limoncello Spritz from Above
We like to sip our Limoncello Spritzes with striped yellow straws.

Start sipping immediately either with or without a straw.

Alternatives

Crafted Limoncello Spritz
Warning – The Limoncello Spritz is as easy to sip as it is to craft. In other words, be prepared to craft a second.

Crafting a Limoncello Spritz may awaken your thirst for more spritzes. If so, we recommend crafting one or more of the following sparkling wine cocktails:

Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.

Limoncello Spritz with Straw
It only takes a few minutes to craft a Limoncello Spritz at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Limoncello Spritz?

The Limoncello Spritz is a classic Italian spritz cocktail crafted with Prosecco, limoncello and soda water in a 3:2:1 ratio.

Where was the Limoncello Spritz invented?

The Limoncello Spritz was invented in Southern Italy.

What are the ingredients in a Limoncello Spritz?

Limoncello, Prosecco, Sparkling Water, Lemon and Ice Cubes

Is the Limoncello Spritz shaken or stirred?

The Limoncello Spritz is stirred, not shaken.

What type of glass is best for the Limoncello Spritz?

We like to drink this cocktail in a stemless wine glass but almost any glass will work.

Is it possible to prepare a batch of Limoncello Spritz for a party?

Yes! Simply multiply the portions using the recipe’s 3:2:1 ratio. However, don’t make it in advance as it will be flat instead of bubbly.

Did you craft this cocktail? If so, please rate the recipe below.

Limoncello Spritz with Straw
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4.38 from 8 votes

Limoncello Spritz Recipe

Crafting this Limoncello Spritz is the next best thing to drinking a Limoncello Spritz in Italy. It's also a classic summer sipper.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 253kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces Prosecco (chilled)
  • 2 ounces limoncello (chilled)
  • 1 ounce sparkling water (chilled)
  • ice cubes
  • 1 lemon wheel (garnish)

Instructions

  • Fill glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Prosecco, limoncello and sparkling water into the glass.
  • Gently stir.
  • Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Notes

  1. You can replace the sparkling water with club soda.
  2. You can add herb garnishes like mint, basil and rosemary.

Estimated Nutrition

Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.5mg
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About The Authors

About The Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.

Disclosures

Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Funding
We purchased all ingredients and tools used to craft this cocktail.

Original Publication Date: July 11, 2023

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