First you smell the seductive fragrance and unique aroma, then you taste the sun, the sea and the volcanic soil of Sorrento in the finely sour, lemony taste of this liqueur. These unmistakable characteristics and the bright, brilliant squeaky yellow colour have made the sweet Limoncello, Italian lemon liqueur, famous.
A veritable explosion of flavours, where the magic lies in the raw material
Limoncello is produced according to ancient recipes in the municipalities between Vico Equense and Massa Lubrense, as well as on the islands of Capri and Sicily, using the skins of huge lemons. Only ripe and juicy lemons are used for the production of Limoncello. The Ligurian version – made from lemons that grow between Ponente and Cinque Terre – is called Limoncino.
It is said that the Limoncello recipe was first prepared in Capri in 1900. Its composition was an idea of Maria Antonia Farace, the owner of a large garden with bright yellow, juicy lemons. After the war, her grandson opened a restaurant. When his guests were paying their bill, he offered them the liqueur produced by his grandmother and it was love at first sip. This success gave the son of the restaurant owner the idea to register his great-grandmother's recipe in 1988. In the same year, he founded a company for the production of Limoncello.
The lemons of the Amalfi coast
On the Amalfi coast, people have a different opinion. Even before this time, wealthy families of Sorrento offered their distinguished guests a liqueur made from lemons. This liqueur was supposedly made according to a recipe that was already known at the time of the Saracen invasion (1558).
Limoncello should be served in small glasses with a long stem, but also small shot glasses are perfect. The glasses should be chilled in the freezer for at least one hour before serving. When the glasses are really cold, the tangy, fresh notes of the lemons come out best. Enjoy the Italian lemon liqueur well-chilled as an aperitif (Limoncello with sparkling wine or Limoncello Cooler) or as a digestif with ice cubes.
Italian lemon liqueur - limoncello, the recipe
- 7 lemons juice, and peel from 7 organic lemons
- 500 ml 96% alcohol, or ethyl alcohol - make sure that the ethyl alcohol is suitable for food as drinking alcohol - also available in pharmacies
- 500 ml water
- 300 to 400 g sugar
- Wash lemons thoroughly in hot water, rub them dry and peel only the outer yellow skin with a peeler - the white parts below would give off a bitter taste. Put the lemon peel, lemon leaves and ethyl alcohol in a sealable container. Leave to stand at room temperature in a dark place for 15 days. Stir occasionally.
- At the end of the maturation period, add lemon juice, sugar and water. Leave at room temperature in a dark place for one day. Filter through a sieve and fill into bottles. Leave at room temperature in a dark place for 30 days, then enjoy!
For the Limoncello Cooler
2 cl Limoncello + 6 cl tonic water + 6 cl sparkling wine + lots of ice + a few finely chopped mint leaves = a perfect summer drink.r.