My mother, (Eat Something Sexy editor Ronie Reiley), and I have been making this drink for years, sans any set recipe. It’s just something we throw together for guests. We call it our “beach drink.”
But over the years we’ve received a surprising number of requests for our drink recipe. Quite frankly, we were embarrassed at first to let the secret out because this Limoncello cocktail recipe is so easy. But eventually, we answered the requests and, perhaps a little bashfully, we added the cocktail to the Eat Something Sexy drinks recipes.
What makes this a great Limoncello cocktail?
This three-ingredient, Limoncello drink (plus a mint garnish), is light and refreshing and just right for summer. It’s a low alcohol cocktail and one that’s not loaded with sugar. That’s because my favorite Limoncello drink is a spritz cocktail, one made effervescent thanks to a splash of soda.
With the right ratio of sweet, syrupy lemon liqueur and the effervescence of club soda or sparkling water, it’s like the adult version of an icy glass of lemonade.
Best of all, you don’t need any special equipment to make this summery drink. No cocktail shaker or Martini glasses for this one! You really can’t get more simple or more refreshing.
Just be sure your ice is fresh. The only thing that can ruin this blissfully simple drink is the flavor of stale ice.
What is Limoncello?
Limoncello is an Italian liqueur, mainly produced in the boot-shaped nation’s south. This includes the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula and the Amalfi Coast. Although it is produced commercially, Limoncello is one of those drinks Italians often make at home for themselves.
How is Limoncello made?
The drink is made by soaking lemon peels in a neutral, grain alcohol. After this mixture steeps for a minimum of several days, it’s strained.
Then a simple syrup, (sugar melted in water), is slowly added.
For a homemade version, careful tasting is required at this stage to get the right ratio of sweetness to citrus. (And don’t forget, citrus is among our 10 Best Foods for Women.)
Although the exact origin of Limoncello isn’t know, according to Italy magazine, the tradition of making this sweet and tart liqueur is at least 100 years old.
There are claims that the drink’s origin can be traced back to the Middle Ages but there’s little evidence to support the claim. But we do know for sure, that the drink was produced in southern Italy since at least the early 1900’s.
Where to buy Limoncello
Limoncello can be found in most liquor stores and on Amazon.com.
If you can’t find it at the liquor you can try your hand at a homemade version using vodka or grappa as the spirit. This citrus liqueur is most commonly served after dinner but this cocktail version is our go-to afternoon drink in summer.
How do you store Limoncello?
Limoncello can be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator or even the freezer. It will never go “bad” but it will lose its lemon flavor over time. Before mixing drinks with a dusty bottle of Limoncello pulled from the back of your liquor cabinet, give it a taste to make sure it still offers the tart, refreshing flavor of lemons. If it doesn’t, it’s time to buy a fresh bottle!
And if you’re planning on making this Limoncello spritz recipe often, I recommend storing your Limoncello in the freezer so it’s ice cold and ready to go whenever the mood for a Limoncello drink strikes.
Summer appetizers to serve with this summer cocktail
- 1 1/2 oz chilled Limoncello
- 2-4 cubes fresh ice
- sparkling water
- 1 sprig mint for garnish
- Add limoncello to a rocks glass with fresh ice.
- Top with sparkling water and serve with a fresh sprig of mint.
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