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What Is Limoncello? What to Know About This Italian Drink

Limoncello emerged in Italy over a century ago and is frequently produced in the southern part of the country, including the Naples area. Today it is even produced in the U.S. and other countries.

Limoncello is prepared by soaking lemon zests in neutral grain alcohol for a month’s time or more if required. This draws out the oils and fills the lemon flavour into the liquor. What we get is a thick, sweet dessert cordial with a rich lemon flavour. Generally, Amalfi, Capri and Sorrento lemons are used to prepare the drink. They are first washed and scrubbed in hot water to make sure there are no chemicals or any dust or pesticides.

As lemon peels are employed, organic fruit is favoured so as to avoid any contamination from pesticides and other chemicals. Once the lemon zest is infused, the liquor is then mixed with simple syrup to get the desired balance of citrus flavour and sweetness. Most limoncello is bottled between 28 per cent and 32 per cent alcohol by volume.

You can even make your own limoncello using high-proof neutral grain alcohol. Although the process is very easy, it takes a considerable amount of time to develop the flavour.

While limoncello is commonly enjoyed on its own for dessert, it can also be attributed to a brilliant cocktail ingredient, prized for its citrusy, sweet flavour that results in equally delicious mixed drinks.

The drink gives a very sweet taste with an intense flavour of lemons. It misses the tartness of lemon juice and is rather like a spiked, highly-concentrated, citrus-flavoured syrup that's very delicious.


Limoncello is stored in the freezer to make a delicious topping for ice cream. It is traditionally served well-chilled as an after-dinner drink. In cocktails, it works as a sweetener that adds a bright citrus flavour to the drink. It goes best with tequila, vodka, and whiskey. You will often find it in dessert drinks to add a distinctive sweetness to martinis and spiked iced tea. It can also be employed to substitute for simple syrup and other sweeteners in recipes where the lemon flavour will add a relatively nice touch.

The sugariness of this drink makes for a popular ingredient for dessert recipes. Limoncello is often used in cakes and sweet sauces or glazes. Pouring it over a bowl of ice cream or mixed fruit is a deliciously simple way to enjoy it as well.

Limoncello being the versatile drink and also an ingredient in itself makes it a popular choice to include it in various recipes.


Source(s): thespruceeats, spoonuniversity

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