On the island of Capri and the Sorrentine Peninsula, grow the famous orb-shaped lemons of Sorrento with their thick and aromatic peels, sweet flavour and high content of essential oils.The lemons are famous in this region, but even more famous is the luscious liqueur that is made from them: Limoncello.
The drink is standard fare in the region and is most often consumed straight out of the freezer as a digestive after a meal; it becomes thicker from cooling and is presented in small tulip-shaped glasses.
It is also served with tonic water or prosecco as a cooling cocktail in the heat. In modern days it is splashed on ice-cream or over fruit salad for a more delicious dessert.
The Villa Massa Limoncello is our favourite (that is why we import the brand to South Africa).
Their lemons come from the Sorrento region, of course, and are grown under the shading of chestnut poles. Harvesting is done by hand and no chemicals are used in the process.
After transport to the factory, the lemons are washed and mechanically peeled to reduce the amount of pith – the soft white underneath of the yellow peel – that can cause bitterness.
The lemon peels are soaked in stainless steel drums that hold pure molasses alcohol for a few days to allow the lemon flavours to infuse into the alcohol. The peels are then removed and the infusion is filtered various times and mixed with filtered-water-and-sugar syrup or cream.
The sugar syrup mixture produces a clear, bright yellow limoncello while the creamy mixture presents a delicate milky version. The liquids are now sent for bottling and kept at cool temperature.
However, the Limoncello cream should be kept in the fridge as the alcohol content is lower and it will freeze.
For more information, visit the Villa Massa webpage: http://www.villamassa.com/
To buy the product in South Africa visit Adriatic: http://www.adriaticshop.co.za