Limoncello is a lemon-flavored liqueur from southern Italy. It’s especially popular in the Sorrentine Peninsula, Amalfi coast, and the island of Capri.
Made from lemon zest and sugar, this liqueur has become a favorite of many people across the globe. It is often served as an after-dinner drink to aid digestion and also as an aperitif.
It is made from Sorrento lemons, also called Sfusato Lemons or Femminello St. Teresa lemons, which are grown on the Amalfi coast and in the Sorrentine peninsula.
Limoncello is a delightful Italian liqueur that has a unique flavor. It tastes like lemon candy, with a tart edge that comes from the fact that it’s made with real lemons. The sweetness is balanced by an almost marshmallow-like note.
How is Limoncello made?
Limoncello liqueur is made from fresh lemons, which are peeled and steeped in alcohol until the oils are released. Then it’s diluted with water and sweetened with simple syrup.
Limoncello uses lemons that have been grown in Italy, where the climate is perfect for producing fruit with lots of oil in the skin.
These lemons are known as Sorrento Lemons or Amalfi Lemons and are the best variety to use because they have a thick skin without bitter pith.
The History of Limoncello
The origins of Limoncello are shrouded in mystery, and there are several theories about how the classic Italian liqueur originated.
The original recipe for limoncello was discovered in a boarding house on the island of Azzurra. The lady Maria Farace took care of a garden full of lemons; her nephew later used this as the basis for a bar near Alex Munte’s villa. He used his grandmother’s recipe to produce lemon liquor.
In 1988, Massimo Canale, her nephew’s son, started a small production of Limoncello and later registered the trademark.
However, the city of Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast each have their own stories and legends about how this traditional yellow liquor was created.
How to drink Limoncello?
Limoncello is a sweet Italian liqueur made from lemons and grain alcohol. That description alone suggests that it’s a drink best sipped slowly so that you can enjoy the lemon flavor.
The most traditional way to drink Limoncello is straight from the freezer, either by itself or with a little sparkling water.
It’s particularly good when served very cold in the summer months when there’s a greater need for refreshment.
Alternately, pour some into a shot glass and down it in one gulp; the liqueur is both strong and sweet enough that you shouldn’t find it too harsh this way.
Combine Limoncello with ice cream for a tasty lemon-flavored milkshake. You could also combine it with frozen yogurt or low-fat ice cream for a healthier alternative. Mixing it with lemon sorbet would result in an equally tasty treat.
How to make Limoncello at home?
The liqueur is best made from lemons that are unwaxed or only lightly waxed. Use lemons that are grown in a Mediterranean climate and have thin, smooth skin.
- Scrub the lemons well under hot water to remove any dirt and the waxy coating, and then pat dry with kitchen paper.
- Using a vegetable peeler, cut the zest into strips, and try to avoid any of the bitter white pith.
- Put the strips of lemon zest into a large glass jar, add the spirit (vodka or Everclear) and seal tightly. Leave for infusion for at least four days but preferably a week or two, occasionally turning, so all the zest is exposed to the alcohol.
- Strain off and discard the zest, then put the sugar syrup in a saucepan along with 200ml water and bring to a simmer until all of the sugar has dissolved. Leave until cool.
- Pour the cooled syrup into the Limoncello through a funnel and stir well. Pour into bottles or jars with tight-fitting lids and leave for at least three weeks before drinking.
How to store a bottle of homemade Limoncello?
Limoncello is often made at home, and the recipe varies from place to place, but it is always based on lemon zest and alcohol. The alcohol can be vodka or grain alcohol (Everclear) or a mixture of the two.
If you make your own Limoncello, you may be wondering how to store it once it’s done. Although there are many different recipes, they all have one thing in common: Limoncello should be stored in a cool, dark place. It’s best to keep the bottles away from direct sunlight.
There are differing opinions on what kind of bottle to use for Limoncello. Some people prefer glass bottles while others prefer plastic.
If you’re concerned about leaching chemicals from your containers into the alcohol, a glass bottle is the safest bet.
Limoncello Prices, Variations & Sizes
The average price of a bottle of limoncello ranges from $18 to $35. Many factors can contribute to these varying prices, so the cost can be lower or higher depending on the brand and quality.
The price range for limoncello varies based on the brand. Popular brands include Pallini Raspicello, Villa Massa Limoncello, Fabrizia Limoncello, and Sorrenti’s Cherrycello.
The following price chart presents the price of Limoncello for nearly every brand in the world.
|Sogno Di Sorrento||750 ml||$22.99|
|Ventura County Limoncello||750 ml||$23.49|
|Il Tramonto||750 ml||$15.99|
|Knight Gabriello||750 ml||$16.99|
|Il Pettorano||750 ml||$19.99|
|Villa Massa||750 ml||$23.99|
|Limoncello Di Capri||750 ml||$21.99|
|Vincenzi Limoncello Di Torino||750 ml||$24.99|
Is Limoncello Gluten-free?
Limoncello is a bright yellow liqueur that tastes of tangy lemons and sugar. Like other citrus-flavored liqueurs, it works well in many cocktails.
And because it’s made from grain alcohol, Limoncello is gluten-free, which makes it a good option for people who can’t tolerate gluten or choose to avoid it.
Three Best Brands That Sell Limoncello
There are many brands of Limoncello on the market today, with different recipes and methods of preparation. Let’s take a look at some of the best limoncello liqueurs available today so that you can get your hands on your favorite!
Born from the passion of one Italian man, Tosolini Limoncello is a refreshing and smooth lemon-flavored liqueur.
It was created more than 50 years ago by Bepi Tosolini, who combined his love for lemons with his knowledge of distillation to create this unique drink.
Tosolini Limoncello has 28% alcohol content and is made from an infusion of grappa spirit, which creates a liqueur that’s sweet on the nose and sharp on the tongue.
Limoncino Bottega Limoncello
Bottega Limoncello is a refreshing liqueur made with “Femminello” lemon peels, harvested and carefully selected by hand.
These lemons are expertly distilled to capture the maximum amount of oil from the skin. Grappa, distilled water, and sugar are then added to create this delicious drink.
It has an alcohol content of 30%, which is the highest among other lemon liqueurs.
On the nose, there’s a strong and sweet lemon aroma that almost feels like a lemon drop candy without being cloying or artificial.
It has a good balance on the palate that’s not too sweet or tart, and it finishes clean with a touch of alcohol warmth on the back end.
Pallini Limoncello is a lemon liqueur that is made in Rome, Italy. The main ingredient is the zest of Sfusato lemons.
Pallini Limoncello is made using the peels of lemons grown on the Amalfi Coast. Pallini liqueur has an alcohol content of 26%.
The flavor is delicate and pleasantly sweet, with a nice balance between the sweetness of the alcohol and the acidity of the lemons.
There is a nice zing in your mouth as you drink it, but it doesn’t feel like you’re drinking straight lemon juice.
Three Best Cocktails Made With Limoncello
Limoncello is the perfect summer cocktail. What’s more refreshing than a chilled, sweet, and tart drink on a hot day?
Limoncello is often served straight up as an after-dinner drink or as a welcome drink at your next party. But if you want to get creative, you can also use it in cocktails.
Here are three different but equally delicious ways to use Limoncello in mixed drinks!
Limoncello Lemon Drop
When the weather starts to warm up, it’s time to start thinking about refreshing cocktails that are perfect for sipping in the sun. This limoncello lemon drop cocktail is one of my favorites for summer.
It’s tart and sweet, with a little bit of kick from the vodka. And it looks fancy, which means you don’t have to tell anyone how easy it is to make!
First, prepare the glass by moving a sliced lemon on the glass rim and covering it with sugar. In a cocktail shaker, add 4 tbsp. Limoncello, 2 tbsp. vodka, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, and ice.
Shake thoroughly and strain in the prepared glass. Garnish with sliced lemon and serve.
Bourbon Limoncello Cocktail
A twist on the traditional lemon drop martini, this easy cocktail recipe is made with a mix of bourbon and Limoncello.
Bourbon is used as the base spirit for this cocktail because it has a flavor that blends well with the Limoncello and lemon juice. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for an after-dinner drink that’s not too sweet.
Add 1 tbsp. lemon juice and peach preserve in a cocktail shaker. Stir well to break the preserves. Then add 1 ½ tbsp. Limoncello, 2 tbsp. Bourbon and a handful of mint leaves. Add ice and shake for a minute.
Strain into a rocks glass and serve with one or two freshly sliced lemon wheels.
Limoncello Gin Collins Cocktail
Limoncello Gin Collins is a seriously flavorful summer cocktail! It’s perfectly easy to make, and once you make it, you’ll find yourself making it over and over again.
Grab your Limoncello, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and your choice of garnish. In just minutes, you can make a refreshing summer drink!
To make a Limoncello Gin Collins add 4 tbsp. Limoncello, 3 tbsp. lemon juice and gin and 2 tbsp. mint simple syrup into a high glass with ice.
Add 4 tbsp. club soda and stir gently. Garnish with a lemon wedge and mint leaves, and serve fresh!