In 2015 my Husband and I took our first trip to Italy. While travelling in Sorrento and the Amalfi regions we discovered Limoncello. It was love at first sip.
What is Limoncello?
Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula and the coast of Amalfi, and islands of Procida, Ischia, and Capri.
Here is a photo of us enjoying a glass in a cafe in Positano on the Amalfi Coast. Most places serve it straight from the freezer. Delightful and refreshing. Like most things in Italy.
It’s all about the Lemons
We spent a few days in Sorrento and as we strolled through the streets, each shop had different varieties for sale. Many offered tastings as you went by to entice you to buy a bottle or two. Needless to say, I bought a few.
Sorrento Lemons are one of the most unique and flexible Italian ingredients. Available year-round, they’re robust enough to be used in a myriad of applications, from savory to sweet. … A whopping 60% of all Sorrento Lemons harvested in Italy are used to produce Limoncello.
To learn more about the history of lemons in Italy, check out “The Land Where Lemons Grow” by Helena Attlee.
Let’s make some Limoncello!
There are many recipe’s out there for making limoncello, but here is a very straightforward version.
- 2 bottles 100 Proof Vodka
- 15 Lemons
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 cups water
Peel rinds from lemons. Place rinds and 1 bottle vodka in 1 gallon clear glass growler. Allow to infuse for 30 days.
Heat and dissolve 2 cups sugar in 5 cups water to make a simple syrup.
Strain lemon rinds from vodka.
Return strained vodka to Growler. Add Simple Syrup and second bottle of Vodka. Allow 30 days for flavors to meld.
Bottle and serve from freezer.
The Opening Post Photo was my first attempt at making home-made limoncello. It came out fabulously. Since you don’t actually use the lemons themselves and I hate to waste things, I usually plan to make a dish that involves a lot of lemon, squeeze and save the juice for later or quarter and freeze for use later instead of ice in cocktails.
Hint: If you are not using fancy bottles save the vodka bottles and lids you used while making this recipe. Run through dishwasher to sterilize. Fill with finished Limoncello.
Limoncello Cocktail Recipe’s
I hope this inspires you to sample some Limoncello if you haven’t already and to try your hand at crafting limoncello for yourself! It’s a fun Saturday DIY that makes enough for 6 months or so.