Among the well-known Italian alcoholic beverages is limoncello, a lemon liqueur with a brightly yellow color, which originates from Sorrento, a picturesque coastal town in southern Italy. The origin of limoncello reportedly dates back to the beginning of the 20th century when local women made it from lemons from their gardens. The liqueur was traditionally served as a digestive after a meal and was supposed to aid digestion.
Today, limoncello is produced on a larger scale, but many traditional methods are still used. The lemons used to make limoncello are grown on the hills around Sorrento, where they thrive thanks to the climate and soil. If the limoncello is made from these lemons, it can bear the protected designation of origin IGP. The lemon peel is soaked in alcohol for several days, extracting essential oils and aromas. After the maceration process is complete, sugar and water are added, and the delicate liqueur is born.
The drink is usually served ice-cold. The taste of limoncello is citrusy, with a gentle sweetness that balances the bitterness of the lemons. Limoncello is ideal for sipping on a hot summer day, and refreshing cocktails are also made from it. In Sorrento, you can enjoy such a cocktail, for example, at Nonna Emilia bar while admiring the beautiful sea view.
Limoncello is also a popular souvenir for visitors to Sorrento. Many shops and markets sell bottles of this liqueur, which are often beautifully packaged and can be a nice gift or memento. Prices can range from a few Euros for a small 100 ml bottle to tens of Euros for a large bottle.