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We first got a taste of Limoncello when on Holiday in Corfu. The local shop had a selection of different sizes at a very good price. We sat in the evenings on balcony watching the sun go down with a couple of glasses of this lemon drink.
Once home in the UK I was in the local Sainsburys and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that they stocked this product. I had to buy it straight away and knew we would be trying it that evening.
Apparently this is how the drink is made.
Sun-ripened lemons from the Mediterranean are cold pressed then the oils and aromas are extracted by steeping them in alcohol, after which the spirit is tempered for some added sweetness. Limoncello is not as sugary as some and adds a nice amount of sweet, natural lemon flavor to cocktails. I have seen a few recipes that have used it in sorbets and cheesecake. I might have a go i think in the summer on those long hot days this would be so refreshing.
Anyway back to the liqueur, It has quiet a high alcohol % and is at 27% and this bottle size is 500ml. It does have a rich, lemony texture and is perfect to keep chilled. I drink mine with just ice, but sure you can add mixers to it.
The cost of the bottle is £12.50 and available from most Sainsburys.
If you've ever been to Italy, and I have, you may have noticed a popular liqueur which is widely available almost everywhere you look (unless you're in a book shop...or a train...or). What I mean is there are literally thousands of varieties (figuratively speaking) weighing down the shelves of the supermarkets - from gut-rotting cheapos for a few euros, to high quality offerings for a lot more. Every bar, café and restaurant will stock it too. That liqueur is called LIMONCELLO.
But fear not dear reader, you don't have to go all the way to Rimini to taste the citric delights of sunny Italy. Not a bit of it. A quick stroll around the aisles of Sainsburys will lead you to a bottle or two of LIMONCELLO LUXARDO...unless you're in the aisle that sells books etc.
Luxardo are a family business dating back to 1821. They distil a variety of liqueurs like grappa and Sambuca. But wait, you don't want to read a corporate history, or if you do, just google it.
"Obtained from the infusion of lemon peels in alcohol, Limoncello is one of the most world-renowned Italian liqueurs. It stems from an ancient tradition which enhances the natural aroma and fresh taste of lemons from southern Italy."
Limoncello pours a deep and vibrant yellow colour, not unlike the colour of lemons (picks self up off floor). It's slightly translucent and, well, really yellow.
If you swirl it around the glass, it kind of leaves a coating.
The aroma is dominated by...go on, take a guess...no? Lemons. At this point, I'd just like to say that if you're not terribly keen on lemons then I'm not sure this is the drink for you. The lemon aroma is almost overpoweringly pungent but just about bearable.
By now, it should come as no surprise to learn that the taste is all about lemons. I'm sensing a pattern here. Lemons and alcohol. Lemons, alcohol and sweetness. There's a definite alcohol bite to it, but it's much smoother than many cheaper brands. There's a hint of herbal flavour but it's not much. No, this is all about lemons. Slightly oily, there's a hint of lemongrass in the finish but there's no alcoholic after burn, just a long, smooth sweet and citric aftertaste.
According to their website, '''Limoncello Luxardo'' is best served at room temperature or cold as a "digestivo" drink, or watered down as an aperitif. (watered down?!) They say it's great with champagne or sparkling wine., or poured over ice cream or fruit.
They also recommend storing it in the freezer.
I have to admit, I haven't tried it in many of the ways they suggest though I have had it poured over a dessert (lovely with a sponge cake). I like it neat, and very, very cold.
At 27% ABV, I like this. I like this a lot. It's definitely not a drink to skelp back willy-nilly. In actual fact, it's a little sticky and far too sweet for that. But as an after dinner snifter, it's just perfect - especially when the weather is warm and it's served ice cold.
Is there a downside? Why yes, there is. While a 50cl bottle of this will set you back around Euro5-7 in Italy, it will cost a little more in this country. £12.50 to be precise. Oh well.
Would I drink it again? - Are lemons yellow?
A distinctive, premium liqueur made with the juice of fresh lemons from Southern Italy. Serve cold over ice or mixed with fresh lemonade, iced tea or tonic. Drizzle over sorbet or ice cream.