Lemoncello: Sorrento’s Liquid Gold

In Italy there are many alcoholic drinks that are favorites as a digestive. To name a few are Grappa, Moscato, Vino Santo and Prosecco for example. But Limoncello has become one of the world’s favorites in recent years. Although it was well know in Italy, the world has gotten to know the deep yellow after-dinner drink of Lemoncello recently. Prior to that it was produced in small productions and mainly drunk in Italy.

Although many areas of Italy produce Lemoncello today, it originated in Sorrento. The “oval” Sorrentino – the denomination of geographic Indication (IGP) was granted in November of 2000 and can be found on the bottles from the Sorrento region. This IGP of the Sorrento lemons opened up a whole new commercial opportunity for the area. The lemons grown in this area originally were exported, but today about 40% are sold for fresh consumption and 60% are used to make Lemoncello. The Sorrento lemons are medium-large, with a thick, rough, light-yellow skin, an intense aroma and are rich in essential oils. They have a pleasant flavor with a low number of seeds. The key for Lemoncello is the oil in the skin and the color of the skin, as it is just the rind that flavors and gives the rich yellow color to the liquor. The maceration of the peel with alcohol and sugar slowly develops the aroma and color.

The unique fresh taste and the aroma of Limoncello is an excellent digestive served cold. Especially after a meal with strong flavors, Lemoncello refreshes the palate. The bottles are stored in the freezer and I also put the glasses in the freezer for about 10 minutes or so before serving.

Many Italians make Limoncello themselves. Along the Almalfi coast there is hardly a house that doesn’t have lemons growing in their garden.

Lemoncello is used to flavor gelati and cakes, poured over fruit and can be used with shrimp or other fish dishes.

I make Lemoncello once a year and store it in our wine cellar – keeping one bottle in the freezer ready for a digestive. I have prepared bottles as gifts to give friends who come to visit or for Christmas gifts. Very small bottles can be made as favors for a wedding or parties. One recipe goes a long way. It is a different idea that makes people really happy.

Lemoncello

Recipe Summary
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: N/A
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
Ingredients
9 large lemons
4/5th bottle Vodka
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar

PREPARATION
Wash the lemons and using a vegetable peeler remove the skins making sure that you do not remove the white part of the lemon.

ASSEMBLY
In a large jar, place the skins and the vodka and seal tightly. Place the bottle in a cool location for 3 weeks or more.

Remove the lemon skins, strain the liquid and add the sugar and water. Allow the mixture to stand outside the refrigerator for about 2 days or until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the Lemoncello into bottles and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

SERVING
When serving Lemoncello put the glasses in the freezer for about 10 minutes and pour the Lemoncello into the ice cold glass.

I make Lemoncello to give to my very best friends and family for Christmas gifts. Create your own label – they will appreciate that you took the time to make such a special gift.

For those who would like to read the history and legends of Lemoncello, view the following web site.

http://tasteofsorrento.sorrentoinfo.com/articoli/sorrento_limoncello.asp

 

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~ by Patricia Turo on November 5, 2009.

6 Responses to “Lemoncello: Sorrento’s Liquid Gold”

  1. Ever since I caught Giada making a batch of this, one day while I was scrolling past the Food Network, I’ve wanted to make it. Thanks for your reminder! This looks like it would be a wonderful holiday recipe.

    Like

    • Keep a bottle in the freezer and you will have a wonderful after dinner drink at all times. I also put my glasses in the freezer for a few minutes. In decorative bottles with your own lable it makes really a nice gift to bring to a party of holiday gift. Good Luck, I hope your enjoy it.

      Patricia

      Like

  2. Once the recipe is made does it have to be stored in the freezer or refrigerator? Does the alcohol keep it from freezing solid? I have had glass bottles break in the freezer and I’am afraid of this happening and I do not have a lot of space in my refrigerator. I do have a very large lemon producing tree and would enjoy making a few batches of Lemoncello for myself and friends.
    Thank you,
    Sylvia

    Like

    • Hi Sylvia,

      The bottle that I am using I store in the freezer or refrigerator. It does not freeze. The remaining bottles I store in a cool place. It lasts a very long time, but to tell you the truth not so long in my house as I give it to friends as gifts. It means a lot more when you make it yourself. I like to find decorative bottles and put my own lable on them. In our business we have used them for wedding favors. We buy very small bottles big enough for 2 cordial glasses and label them with the bride & grooms wedding information. As I have also bought small cordial glasses and presented the bottle and glasses as gifts.
      When drinking the lemoncello, put the glasses in the freezer for 10 minutes also.

      Good Luck,
      Patricia

      Like

  3. WE WERE IN ITALY RECENTLY, WE BOUGHT LEMONCHELLO AND LOVED IT.. I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE OTHER DRINKS…WE ALSO BOUGHT,MELONCELLO, AND CREAMALIMONE…CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE TO GET THOSE???I LOVED THE OTHER DRINKS BESIDES THE LEMON….OR TELL ME HOW I CAN MAKE THEM…THANK YOU, CHRIS TREGLIA

    Like

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