Limoncello: an Amalfi Coast classic
Not too bitter nor too sweet but with a definite warming flush of alcohol, limoncello is an extremely popular liqueur along the Amalfi Coast. It is one of my favourite liqueurs. Traditionally made from ‘sfusato amalfatino‘ lemons and served chilled as a “digestivo”, it is a fabulous finale to a wonderful meal. You will find limoncello incorporated into many other recipes too. The amazing lemon dessert ‘Delizia al limone‘ is a perfect example of this. Sipped on its own, mixed with other drinks or simply poured over ice cream, its versatility is boundless.
There are many recipes for this bottled sunshine – each family handing down its own secret recipe from generation to generation. This simple limoncello recipe (with a few tweaks) has been taken from the Consorzio di Tutela Limone Costa d’Amalfi I.G.P. website.
As you will see, it is quite easy to make at home – with a little patience and only three ingredients. The sweetness, alcoholic content and even the colour can be manipulated by varying the infusion time and sugar content. Have some fun experimenting with it – the goal – a harmonious balance of lemony bitterness, sweetness and alcohol.
- 1 litre pure (90%) alcohol - preferably grain alcohol
- 1.5kg sugar
- 2 litres water
- 10 - 12 sfusato lemons
- Remove only the lemon part of the peel
- Infuse the peel in the alcohol for a minimum of 48 hours (up to 2 months), in a sealed container
- Boil the water and add the sugar gradually, stirring with a wooden spoon until it thickens
- Allow to cool
- Remove the peel from the alcohol/lemon infusion
- Add the infusion to the syrup mixture
- Allow to stand for at least 24 hours but up to a month
- Filter several times before bottling
- Serve chilled