Limoncello-Champagne Cocktail

by Dorothy Reinhold on March 13, 2014

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Limoncello (lemon liqueur) stars in a simple Limoncello-Champagne Cocktail that would make any brunch or evening cocktail hour just that much nicer.

I have a treat for you today! My friend, talented chef Cheryl D. Lee, is here with a unique new champagne cocktail she created, using her sneaky-easy recipe for Meyer lemon limoncello.

Right now is a great time to get a bottle of this limoncello going, because it has to sit for a couple of weeks, steeping. It‘s also a good time because Meyer lemons are on trees and in stores right now. So get in gear, people!

She cheats on her limoncello in the best way (I have a bottle of it brewing right now). Oh, wait, I’ll just let her tell you about it…

By Cheryl D. Lee

In the past few years I have started a love affair with the Italian liqueur Limoncello. Twice a year I make large batches of it and give some bottles away and then drink some.

Meyer-lemon-tree-on-Shockingly-DeliciousI began my love affair when I needed to use up a surplus of Meyer lemons from my trees. My two small trees produce fruit as if they were pumped full of steroids. These trees become so loaded with lemons the branches actually droop.

Cheryl’s ‘Cheater Style Limoncello’

My style of limoncello is a bit different from the traditional way of making it. Traditionally you use only the zest of the lemon, as the pith and juice can be too bitter.

Use the whole lemon: I steep the entire lemon in alcohol, not just the zest.  Honestly, this came about from laziness, as the sheer quantity of lemons I needed to zest was overwhelming!

I knew my Meyer lemons were sweet, floral and incredibly juicy, so I took a chance and used the whole lemon. My leap of faith paid off, and the limoncello was delicious.

Here’s her Cheater Limoncello recipe: Sometimes you just have to buck tradition and start your own! Go here to find Cheryl’s limoncello recipe. 

What to do with your limoncello: Limoncello by itself is wonderful straight or served over ice, and it is especially good made into a simple cocktail that is perfect to serve with brunch or as a before-dinner aperitif. Mix with champagne, as I have done here, and suddenly your cocktail is fancy! Be sure to use frozen whole berries, as they will begin to thaw and release their juices into the cocktail.

2 champagne flutes with Limoncello-Champagne Cocktail on a black trayNow go find a big jar and get your limoncello going right now, so you can make this Limoncello-Champagne Cocktail in a couple of weeks. It will be worth the wait.

Limoncello-Champagne Cocktail

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1

Limoncello-Champagne Cocktail

Limoncello (lemon liqueur) stars in a simple Limon-Champagne Cocktail that would make any brunch or evening cocktail hour just that much nicer.


  • 1 jigger (1 ounce) Cheryl’s limoncello
  • Champagne, chilled
  • Frozen organic whole raspberries or blackberries


  1. Pour one ounce of limoncello into a champagne flute. Fill the glass with chilled champagne. Gently place 1-2 berries into the glass.
  2. Drink! Repeat if desired.
  3. Serves 1.


*Recipe source: Cheryl Lee, of the blog Black Girl Chef's Whites

What are Meyer Lemons?

Meyer Lemons Meyer lemon is a citrus fruit native to China thought to be a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or common orange. It is named after agricultural explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer, who brought a sample in from China in 1908. Meyers are deep yellow with a slight orange tint when ripe, and rounder than a common Lisbon or Eureka supermarket lemon. The thin skin gives off a perfume, and the juice is sweeter and less acidic than an average lemon, making them a chef’s favorite.

A classic way to make Limoncello

Large jar with whole lemons hanging in a cheesecloth bag inside it, to make limoncello. Here’s an explanation of how to make the classic version of Limoncello

More about Cheryl D. Lee

Cheryl D. LeeCheryl began her professional culinary training at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Calif., where she received an Associate of Occupational Studies degree. The diversity of New York City inspired her, so she moved there to work alongside famous Chef Emeril Lagasse, assisting his culinary team on the cooking show “Emeril Live.”

She worked as a chef and catering manager for a variety of New York cafés and as the assistant test kitchen director planning specialty menus for Woman’s World Magazine in New York City. Back in her native California, Cheryl worked as a chef instructor at the California School of Culinary Arts. There she taught culinary students in the Le Cordon Bleu method of classical French cooking, kitchen sanitation, and cooking methodology.

She also has extensive food styling and food photo editing experience, styling food on the sets of “Friends” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Cheryl is the recipe developer, food stylist, photographer and chief dishwasher for her blog Black Girl Chef’s Whites. She focuses on real food — developed by a classically trained chef — that anyone can make.

Thanks, Cheryl, for sharing your elegant cocktail with us today. I have my batch of Cheryl’s Limoncello in the pantry, and the clock is ticking. I can’t wait! Please go visit Cheryl’s blog to see some of her other wonderful recipes. I have my eye on her Cherry Chipotle Glazed Turkey Meatballs, her Spicy Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup and her Peach Pie Cookie Bars.  Oh my.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama December 18, 2014 at 6:07 pm

I just adore limoncello! I have never tried making it myself, but I just may have to in the New Year. This cocktail looks amazing! 🙂


Dorothy Reinhold December 19, 2014 at 11:06 am

Thank you Carrie! Cheryl is a very talented chef!


Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence December 18, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Loving this lazy method! I really need to give that a try. Meyer lemons are a favorite of mine.


Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts December 18, 2014 at 11:46 am

What a gorgeous drink!! So festive and perfect for the holidays!


Dorothy Reinhold December 18, 2014 at 11:55 am

Thanks Erin!


fabiola@notjustbaked December 18, 2014 at 10:39 am

These are so beautiful, and so is Cheryl! I love making life simple with easier methods, especially right now during the holidays.


The Food Hunter December 18, 2014 at 9:42 am

love lemoncello and so glad we have a lemon tree


Dorothy Reinhold December 18, 2014 at 11:56 am

Food Hunter,
Agreed! Going to the backyard for the fixin’s for limoncello is the best way! Lemon trees are a blessing.


Melissa Falk December 18, 2014 at 8:24 am

Love limoncello and champagne. Great share 🙂


Dorothy Reinhold December 18, 2014 at 11:59 am

Thank you Melissa!


Alyssa December 18, 2014 at 7:11 am

This cocktail looks fantastic! It would be great for New Year’s Eve. I like the easy way of making limoncello too, I will have to try it.


Christina Peters March 14, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Love it! and Cheryl, I really love your “lazy” method – so much easier.


Dorothy Reinhold March 16, 2014 at 12:38 pm

I am attracted to anything that makes it easier and with fewer steps. Cheryl is a genius, and I have a big glass jar of it on my counter right now. Can hardly wait for 3 weeks to pass.


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