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Capri, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Ischia, the whole Amalfi Coast, the Gulf of Naples, and the entire Sorrento Coast. A stunning world of gastronomical wonder and delight. You love food? You couldn’t possibly land on a better place. But that’s not the end of the story. Not at all! This incredible, yet tiny, geographical area is a place of bald, fierce and merciless rivalry… of course we’re talking about gastronomical rivalry.

No way one single dish is prepared in the same way across the hundreds of towns dotting the two coasts and the Gulf – each town claiming its way to be the original one and the others’ being just mocking versions. The same goes for ingredients. What’s the best kind of lemon? You may think, well, as long as it is produced in Southern Italy, it must be perfect! I might agree with you. But ask people from there and see what happens.

People from Capri island will claim their lemons to be the best ones ever. People from Sorrento will say the same and try to convice you that Capresi do not have the right lemons. Right for what? Right for everything, especially for… Limoncello. A querelle between Capresi and Sorrentini has been going on since the beginning of times about which one is the original lemon to prepare the original limoncello.

Of course I have my own version of making it and I do believe it’s the best one. It’s Limoncello by my granny’s way. And since I’m just a little bit selfish when it comes to this kind of stuff and I don’t want other people to duplicate my ‘original recipe’ (as all the other people from this magical piece of Earth do), I’m not sharing it.

But I’m giving a sort of a universal recipe, out of which you can create your own ‘original limoncello’ and make your friends envy you.

So, here it is:

  • Wash bio lemons carefully and then dry them using a cloth.
  • Peel lemons using a peeler. As the white layer beneath the skin is very aromatic, make sure not to remove it by peeling it.
  • Cut the skin into small pieces by using a knife – preferably a ceramic knife.

Did you know that…

Ceramic knives preserve the lemon skin’s active ingredients; which might be affected by metal knives, instead.

Pour pure alcohol into an airtight glass container along with the pieces of lemon skin. Let it macerate for 3 weeks. Turn the container upside down during this time in order for the lemon’s properties to be released.

Be advised that…

Lemon’s active ingredients are photosensitive and thermolabile. Therefore, remember to wrap the glass container within a piece of aluminium tape. You can also use a dark glass container. For the very same reason, store the container filled with alcohol and the pieces of lemon skin in a cool place, avoiding contact with heat sources.

  • Once 3 weeks have passed, start preparing the syrup. Boil the water. Once water is boiling put the sugar inside it to melt. Let water cool.
  • Mix the cooled syrup and alcohol along with the pieces of lemon skin. Let it macerate for 7 days.
  • Filter liqueur leaving the lemon skin aside (which will have released all the active ingredients by that time) and then bottle it. Limoncello needs to be served cold. It can be stored in the freezer, as alcohol and sugar prevent the liqueur from freezing.


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