The saying goes “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” but when I discovered my new house came with its very own lemon tree, all I could think of was to make limoncello!
I have to admit I first heard of limoncello from an insufferable TV chef (who shall remain nameless) but like most things that he prattles on about, I simply dismissed it as yet another “pucker” marketing fad. It wasn’t until I visited Rome that I realised how wrong I was (about limoncello, not the TV chef). At our local pizzeria (in a slightly dodgy back alley off Via Cavour) I spied the liquor on the menu and I just knew I had to try it. Chilled to perfection, it was sweet, refreshing and satisfyingly potent, proving to be an excellent aperitif and the prefect foil to our cheesy pizza dinner. And so yet another culinary obsession was forged. Naturally we loaded our suitcases with bottles of this lemony delight but as my stash diminished locally, I began to look upon my laiden lemon tree with fresh eyes. Where once I simply saw the potential for lemonade, I now saw limoncello!
I won’t lie, my method for making limoncello is arduous and frankly should you have an insatiable craving for it, you would be better off just buying some from your local bottle-store. If, however, you find yourself with a glut of lemons and the patience to wait 3 months, then this is the recipe for you. Sometimes sweet perfection is worth waiting for.
For more Italian recipes from the Muddled Pantry, please click here