Every time I visit the Amalfi Coast, I am struck by the many displays of bottles of limoncello for sale in shops along the way. And the size and color of local lemons, really amazes me!!! Limoncello is synonymous of the Amalfi Coast, the refreshing liqueur, aperitif, and digestive made from the large lemons grown in Campania. While controversy exists regarding the origins of this popular drink, limoncello prevails as the drink of choice anywhere along the Amalfi Coast as well as Naples and Sorrento.
Limoncello is made from lemon zest (strictly non-treated), water, alcohol, and sugar. It is a beverage usually consumed after meals, but is a perfect drink for every occasion. Preparation is easy but meticulous: if executed with accuracy, in a bit less than three months, the traditional yellow liquor will be ready to be enjoyed as an aperitif or a digestive, before or after a meal. What’s the difference between Limoncello’s artisan variety and the industrial one? The answer is simple: the lemons! Splendid result of the typical and traditional cultivation system adopted in the area together with the unique nature of the specific coastal microclimate. Many Italians most often enjoy limoncello, which is almost always served cold, as an after-dinner digestive. They keep the bottle in the freezer, along with a few frozen little shot glasses. Just as so many Italian families seem to have their own time-tested limoncello recipes, so do many restaurants. Owners often bring out the unmarked bottle of yellow liquid along with frosted glasses as a treat for their favorite customers. Once a regional specialty, limoncello is now popular throughout Italy. It makes sense, since the country is the world’s largest producer of lemons.
Here the traditional Recipe: Ingredients: 15 pieces of Amalfi Coast lemons with a thick peel, 2 x 750ml pure alcohol, 4 sugar cups, 5 water cups. Preparation: Wash lemons by using warm water and a vegetable brush. Dry them and remove the rind by using the special tool to get long and wide piece of rind. Fill up one water jug of alcohol (750ml) and rinds. Limoncello must macerate at room temperature for 80 days in the covered jug without light. After approximately 40 days prepare a syrup by mixing water and sugar, carrying them to boiling and keep them boiling for approximately 5 minutes until they are not gotten thicker. When the syrup is cold join it to the water jug and the remaining alcohol (750ml). After other 40 days filter the compound and pour it in the bottles.
Make this unique life-long impression upon your friends and invite them all over to have a Limoncello Party!!!
Amalfi Coast in our Exclusive Southern Italy Unesco Heritage. Link follows