Limoncello: the Italian liqueur known all over the world

Limoncello is the symbolic Italian liqueur known all over the world. You can serve it after meals as a digestive but also you can use it to accompany desserts. Fresh and fragrant, it has a characteristic aroma. Born on the Amalfi coast, it spread throughout Italy and then around the world. Let’s find out more about this drink that conquers everyone.

Limoncello: about the name

Let’s start with the name. The term limoncello derives from a term of endearment for the word lemon. For some, it referred to a smaller type of lemons, such as lime. In 1691, they used the word limoncello to mean the “cedar water”. Some of them considered it a kind of lemonade, used for therapeutic purposes. The use of the word limoncello referring to liqueur probably dates back to the twentieth century. Sorrento, Amalfi and Capri dispute still today his paternity. To make a high-quality limoncello, you can use Sorrento lemon or the sfusato amalfitano IGP.

Limoncello: a bit of history

According to one version, limoncello was born at the beginning of the twentieth century in a small guesthouse on the Blue Island where Mrs. Maria Antonia Farace tended the garden of oranges and lemons. After the war, his grandson opened a bar, whose specialty was the lemon liqueur made. He used to create it the old grandmother’s recipe. However, Massimo Canale patented the limoncello in 1988. It is equally true that also in Sorrento and Amalfi there are versions similar to this one just described. For example, in Sorrento, the great Sorrentino families, since the beginning of the twentieth century, had limoncello tasted at the end of the meal. In Amalfi, however, there are those who claim that it was used by fishermen and farmers to fight the cold already at the time of the invasion of the Saracens. According to another, a monastic convent invented the drink to delight the friars between prayers.

Limoncello: the recipe

To create this drink with a unique flavor, you can use ethyl alcohol with an alcohol content of at least 90%. In this, you can put the lemon peels to macerate (only the yellow part). The proportion is 10 large lemons for each liter of alcohol. The maceration period varies from recipe to recipe. According to studies, it only takes 3 days to extract the aromatic characteristics and essential oils. Then, you can add the syrup, consisting of about 600-700g of sugar per liter of water. Finally, you must filter and bottle it.
After about a couple of weeks of aging in the bottle, the drink acquires the classic yellow color. It is precisely the essential oils that give the liqueur a strong aroma and a strong taste, perfect as a digestive.

Do you like limoncello?

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