Almost synonymous with the Amalfi Coast is limoncello, the refreshing liqueur, aperitif, and digestivo made from the large lemons grown in Campania. While controversy exists regarding the origins of this popular drink, limoncello prevails as the drink of choice anywhere along the Amalfi Coast as well as Naples and Sorrento. Native Italians from Sorrento, Capri, and Amalfi all lay claim to limoncello’s birthplace, and no clear evidence exists today to dispute the legends.
Recipes abound for those wishing to replicate this tart drink at home. The key ingredient is the peel from either the ovale di Sorrento, or large oval-shaped lemons grown in the Sorrento area, or the sfusato amalfitano lemon from the Amalfi area of Campania. For this reason, attempts to make limoncello at home are never quite the same as the limoncello for purchase in Campania.
The four basic ingredients in the aperitif include:
- the zest of 6 or or 7 large lemons
- 1 quart pure grain alcohol or vodka
- 5 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
Flavored by the zest of lemons, limoncello is a favorite among locals as well as tourists.
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