Southern Italy is much more traditional than its northern counterpart. Although it has no land borders, it’s heavily influenced by the surrounding sea. Many say that southern Italy is similar to Spain and Greece, two countries that also border the Mediterranean Sea.
Southern Italy is traditionally a quaint small-town area where the Italian people lead very simple lives, Its also home and the birthplace of the famous drink Limoncellos.
On the average day, it won’t be hard to find an older Italian Couple sitting on their porch outside, enjoying a refreshing glass of Limoncellos!
Sweet, soothing, potent and relaxing, Limoncello is a strong, bright yellow after-dinner liqueur that hails from Southern Italy, along the Amalfi Coast and the islands of Capri and Ischia but is home-produced almost everywhere on the Italian coast. The ripe flavorful lemons found all along the Mediterranean are ideal for crafting this potent nectar. The resultant liqueur is very strong, sweet and satisfying.
Limoncello is the main product of Sorrento, which is one of the larger towns on the famous Amalfi coastline. It’s made with pure alcohol and the zest of a lemon. This liquid is put into bottles and after a few days they remove the zest and then it’s mixed with water and sugar, at this point the Limoncello is ready! The proper Limoncello is very strong.
People drink limoncello as a digestive after a meal or any other occasion. It’s not very difficult to make nor does it take very long. The most difficult part of the process is pealing the Lemons.
Limoncello is a fairly recent invention. It originated from the isle of Capri, where it was first crafted in the late 19th century. An innkeeper there, Vincenza Canale, treated her patrons to her homemade liqueur as a complimentary, after-dinner “digestivo.” Word traveled among travelers about her delightful lemon liqueur and eventually the family began bottling it commercially. Today, the family’s company, Limoncello Di Capri, is one of the leading Limoncello manufacturers and is still run by the grandchildren of Signora Canale.
It’s no legend that limoncello has been part of the Italian culture in Naples for over 100 years. Because of this, there are places that offer classes that teach you how to make this fresh zesty beverage.
Every family in Italy seems to think their own “Italian Mama” makes it the best. The Italian people are known to be very proud of the Limoncello.
How to Serve it:
Limoncello is traditionally served after dinner or with the dessert course. This potent liqueur is most appropriately served chilled in slender cordial glasses. Some Italians like to serve it in a chilled glass as well. To do this, place the glass in the freezer for about 20 minutes before serving. One sips limoncello slowly rather than taking it as a shot. This liqueur is delicious when paired with Italian desserts, such as tiramisù, a pear tart, fresh fruit or almost any chocolate concoction. Limoncello may also be served drizzled over ice cream. In the United States, limoncello is also increasingly used in cocktails, usually paired with vodka or champagne. Store your bottle of limoncello in the freezer when not in use.
Where can I find Limoncellos?
You can find it at your local Hillcrest TOPS! Come and experience this Legendary Italian delicacy! Stay safe.