Limoncello, Kumquatcello, Blood Orangecello & So Cal Sunrise Cocktail

Citrus Limoncello Cocktail Recipe made from blood orange, lemon and other citrus |@whiteonrice

Limoncello has been around for 100+ years, but it’s become the newly discovered liquor of the last couple. It’s emergence can be attributed to everything from celebrities’ inebriation on the little lemon sipper, to bloggers’ enthusiasm for peeling and macerating lemon rind to make their own.

For us, we first discovered limoncello and it’s cousin limoncrema 8 years ago in it’s homeland of Sorrento, Italy. Not long after arriving in town, we were being hailed by restaurateurs offer us their taste of southern Italy. Nothing brings back the memories of that incredible trip like limoncello. Except for maybe seeing our dogs spread out in the sun, like the dogs all along the sidewalks in Sorrento. We continually torment them, “Where do you think we are, in Italy?”

Citrus Limoncello Cocktail Recipe made from blood orange, lemon and other citrus |@whiteonrice

The memory of Sorrento’s warm sunshine, groves of lemons and limoncello is still fresh in our minds. With a garden of citrus trees, making limoncello was as easy as 1-2-3. Literally, we made 1-2-3 “cello’s”. Aside from using lemons for limoncello, we experimented with a blood orange cello from some of the last of our blood oranges from the tree. Kumquatcello was the third creation from that we bought from the farmers market.

As our rinds soak in their alcoholic wombs, we are trying to patiently wait for our batches of limon-, blood orange-, kumquat-cellos to come alive. The recipe we are basing our experiments off of came from WhatsCookingAmerica.

We extended the maceration time a bit, because we weren’t able to acquire Everclear, and are using vodka instead. The lower alcohol content usually needs longer maceration. Does anyone have a limoncello recipe that they swear by? In the meantime, here is a cocktail we came up with for limoncello. We’re going to call it So Cal Sunrise. It’s based loosely off of a cocktail we had called Sorrento Sunrise, but adjusted ours to be less syrupy sweet and to incorporate more or our garden’s fruit. Hope you enjoy. Also if you have a limoncello cocktail that you love, we are interested to try it. We always love a good drink.

Limoncello is best straight up, ice cold. However, sometimes you want to get playful and create a concoction with it. It will commonly be added to champagne, or thrown in with vodka to create a limoncello martini. Here is a cocktail which we created after not being happy with most of the alternatives we’ve tried out there. It has many layers of flavor which we felt went together quite well.


-Todd and Diane


So-Cal Sunrise Cocktail Recipe

Yield: 1 Cocktail

Total Time: 5 Minutes


  • 2 ounces (60ml) fresh Blood Orange Juice
  • 1/2 ounce (15ml) fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 ounce (30ml) Limoncello
  • 1 ounce (30ml) Tequila
  • 1/2 ounce (15ml) Simple Syrup, or to taste
  • dash of bitters
  • Slice of blood orange
  • sugar, for garnishing the cocktail glass rim


  1. Rub the rim of a chilled cocktail glass with the lime wedge & sugar the rim.
  2. Add the blood orange juice, lime juice, limoncello, tequila, simple syrup, and bitters to a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into the cocktail glass and enjoy.

Note 1: A basic simple syrup is a 1:1 ratio of sugar dissolved in water. example- One cup sugar dissolved in one cup of water. We usually make larger batches and keep on hand in the refrigerator.

Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

Citrus Limoncello Cocktail Recipe made from blood orange, lemon and other citrus |@whiteonrice

“Citrus Sunburst”

Citrus Limoncello Cocktail Recipe made from blood orange, lemon and other citrus |@whiteonrice

We collected 5 citrus fruits from our garden for this picture. Can you guess what citrus are arranged here?

Answer: Pink grapefruit, Naval Orange, Blood Orange, Meyer Lemon and Bearrs Lime!

Visit complete list of–>  Cocktail Recipes here.Classic Margarita Recipe : a refreshing cocktail for all occasions on

Click Here for more More Blood Orange Recipes like our  Luscious Blood Orange BarsLime Margarita with Bitters and classic Blood Orange Margarita Blood Orange Buttermilk Pound Cake Recipe on



{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Fred

    Sounds and looks great. I am going to shack it up with organic Limoncello di Sonoma for a fresh approach.

  2. WillyH7

    I’d love to hear more about others’ cellos! Yes, very musical! I also first tasted limoncello in Italy, but only last year tried my hand at production myself. You can find Everclear on-line, and it’s worth the search. I’m satisfied to buy limoncello, so I wanted to work with other fruits whose cellos cannot be readily purchased. Key lime, Buddha’s Hand citron, rangpur lime are all delightful, but easily my favorite is the kumquatcello. After all, this is the one citrus whose rind is the best part, so it stands to reason that its cello is the ultimate. Just takes extra patience to zest enough of the little guys (I do over a hundred to make a batch). TRY IT! You won’t regret it!

    1. Chuck Fannin

      Rather than zest the kumquats, which is a LOT of work:

      – Halve them
      – Squeeze the juice out
      – Separate the pulp and seeds from the peels
      – Wash them in cold water
      – Put them in alcohol to soak

      You can do enough for a batch in an hour, which is way less time than it would take to zest 100 kumquats. I have tried this, it works.

  3. FlaNBoyant Eats

    now that i’m done taping and just about caught up with normal life, im making my way back over here. limoncello is awesome! i went to Sorrento and Capri about 10 years ago with a b-friend and that was our gift to our families. I regret not bringing some for me! I love your description and arrangement; and of course the colors! I just might be looking for some in ATL! watching vids now!

  4. maybelles mom

    I had the kind of day at work that makes me dream that I had a cocktail–and these look like exactly what I need (bright, sunny, and strong.)

  5. Antonio Tahhan

    I can’t begin to say how much I love Limoncello! While I was in Italy we used to have it after dinner almost everyday; talk about a phenomenal way to end dinner, hm? I like the idea of a kumquatcello!

  6. lifeinrecipes

    So bright, beautiful and cheery. I am craving one of your cocktails right now!

  7. Cakelaw

    What gorgeous photographs! I am a citrus-o-phile, so this post has me salivating big time. Both drinks look extremely refreshing. I had a mojito for the first time on Saturday night, and loved it with its zesty lime.

  8. Jen Yu

    Okay, I just went to your garden tour and I want to know how long you guys have lived at your house!?! Did you plant all of those or were some of them there to begin with? So awesome. Of course, it helps that you don’t live where winter is king 😉 Love the plethora of produce you have there. Why would you even need to go to the farmers’ market ever?!? I’m coming to YOUR house 🙂 xxoo

  9. Tiina

    Your picture for Click is lovely as are all the pictures in this post! They actually made me thirsty, not for limoncello, though :), but for freshly squeezed blood orange juice.


  10. aforkfulofspaghetti

    So you two are mixologists now? Is there no end to your talents?

  11. Rita

    look at those colors! they would look perfect for my summer dress! lol

    i normally choose creamy and fattening drinks in restaurants and u wont believe that EVERY TIME the wait staff gives me the citrusy drink and dump my creamy drinks in front of my sous chef

    talk abt sexist!

    You’re invited to my chinese take-out party, check out the details in my blogpost:

    Hope you’ll play along 🙂

    Looking forward to your take on chinese take-out ^_^

  12. Christine

    Oh, if only I had a citrus grove…. 😉

    I love limoncello but have never made it. I would love to try one made with meyer lemon peel. The kumquat version sounds awesome.

    I have to plan my next trip to Cali carefully to make the most on my raid of your garden!

  13. Hillary

    Your pictures are just beautiful! And the limoncello/blood orange combination sounds magnificennnnt!

  14. Ivy

    All ‘cellos sound lovely. I have never made a limoncello before and I am planning to make some. I’ve made some with orange and bergamot. Your photos are awesome.

  15. Sandie (Inn Cuisine)

    Have mercy! Are those photos not the most gorgeous, eye-catching, beautiful things you’ve ever seen?! How do you make fruit look that delectable? Seriously! (And the drink in the first photo should thank its lucky stars it’s not in front of me—I’d have sucked it down in a heartbeat and it would be no more. It’s just that kind of day…)

  16. Nan

    Beautiful pictures! If only I COULD drink! I’m sure I’d be a lush – but being diabetic it’s a no-no – and if I’m going to risk a coma I’d rather it be with chocolate…but that didn’t stop me from feeling a bit tingly all over just reading your post – in my next life I’ll be a drinker!

  17. Big Boys Oven

    lovely citrus! marvellous!

  18. Mike

    This sounds like a fantastic idea and I’m sure all three will come out wonderfully. Plus, home-made liquor definitely scores extra cool points.

  19. Lori

    You folks are so lucky to have all of that citrus in your garden! 🙂

  20. grace

    who could swear at anything involving limoncello?
    seems like you’ve picked an appropriate name for a stunning drink. 🙂

  21. Shana

    wow that looks like some pictures off william sonoma catalog!

  22. Kitt

    Jealous of all your citrus! Such beautiful shots, too. Pun intended.

  23. Manggy

    I’m not much of a drinker (er, as in at all), but those lovely colors and fruity flavors are really seducing me! 🙂

  24. Pixie

    Have you two been drinking again? 😉

    Great photos and I know, I was like super late with my entry too. 😉

  25. Karen

    Beautiful photos and drinks! That drink would look even better sitting in my hand. Nice job!

  26. Colleen

    The artistry of your photos never ceases to amaze me.
    Enjoy your Paradise surroundings and Life!

  27. We Are Never Full

    it must be spring cause i’ve been seeing limoncello all over the food blogs! it is the best and you can get very, very drunk on it. when they just plop the bottle down on your table… yes, you can keep drinking and drinking.

    beautiful pics and it’s great to see you’re still using those lovely blood oranges.

  28. Marc @ No Recipes

    Clever! This looks delightful. I’d have to say I’m a bit jealous of your garden, that’s an impressive list of citrus.

  29. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Wow — now I have garden envy! Beautiful citrus — more than makes up for those baby carrots you’ve been showing us. The drinks look luscious, too.

  30. Amanda

    My husband & I have been making limoncello for about a year now, ever since our friends brought back some limoncello for us from Sorrento! I’ll leave it to him to share the recipe – he’s the master – not me. However, a very light and yummy drink we make is something I call Limoncello Chez Amport.

    about 1 shot limoncello
    about 1 tsp lavender syrup
    top off with seltzer

    Try it with ginger syrup too!

  31. Lisa

    You guys just brought a whole lotta sunshine to my chilly little part of the East coast. I am so jealous! I just had to take my herbs in cause there will be a frost tonight!

    Everything looks great, as usual! Thanks for the sunshine!

  32. RecipeGirl

    I talked about Happy Hour on my post today, and I’m thinkin’ it’s about time for a drink (4:30ish, right?) This looks like quite a wonderful choice!

    I love the citrus picture. How lucky you are to have all of those citrus trees in your garden!!

  33. cookinpanda

    Breathtaking pictures. Really.

  34. diva

    i love the pictures for these posts. adore anything citrus and that’s just like the ultimate citrus dream. 🙂 might use this for my bbq house party. woop woop.x

  35. Luna Pier Cook

    Y’all have got to stop taking pictures that make me eat everything out of my fridge!!!

  36. evil chef mom

    Limoncello ice cream! Limoncello ice cream!

    Guys, I love the picture of the mason jars. So bright and cheerful, you can almost taste it.

  37. bee and jai

    hang on!! you have a coffee bean tree? what do you guys not have? thank you for a beautiful burst of sunshine. it fits the theme wonderfully.

  38. Marvin

    I’m not sure if it qualifies as a limoncello, but I do have a recipe for Kalamansi-infused Vodka:

  39. Julie

    How beautiful! And you grow grapefruit, oranges, blood oranges, Meyer lemons and limes in your garden? I’m soooo envious. Your garden sounds like a little piece of paradise.

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