Time to Chill with Limoncello, the Lemonade for Adults

By , Contributor

With temperatures soaring in the 100+ degree range in most of the US, children are eagerly staking out neighborhood corners with small booths, optimistically large glass jars, and handwritten signs as the height of lemonade stand season is upon us. After a high intensity jog or outdoor tennis match, nothing can quite recharge your body like a large glass of ice-cold lemonade. The refreshingly sweet yet tangy drink reigns as one of summer’s most popular refreshments.

Although you may have outgrown lemonade stands, limoncello is the ideal adult equivalent, used to rejuvenate the palate after a meal. Much like lemonade, the Italian drink limoncello has delighted Italians as one of the summer’s most in demand drinks, complementing the toasty Italian summers. Tracing its origins back to Italy’s southern region along the Amalfi Coast, limoncello is served chilled as an after dinner refresher.

The trademarked name requires the liqueur to be made from a specific lemon that is grown in the Sorrento/Amalfi region. If any other lemons are used, the drink may not be sold as limoncello, but rather must be called something different. Limoncello has become a staple among Italians, enjoyed in both restaurants and homes.

The lemon liqueur consists of alcohol-infused lemon peels mixed with sugar. Typically served in a chilled glass, the welcoming bright yellow color of the drink mirrors the warmth and happiness of summer.

A limoncello-inspired cocktail can be the perfect drink for a summer get-together with friends. Instead of the standard vodka, try using champagne or rum. For a special touch use sugar around the rim of the cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel shavings or add a mint leaf or raspberries for extra color.

If you have leftover limoncello in the freezer, incorporate it into a delicious dessert. Festive and colorful, limoncello liqueur adds a wonderful, zingy flavor that pairs well with sweets. The liqueur can be stirred into frosting, whipped cream or cake batter. From limoncello cookies to cheesecake, just a few teaspoons of the liqueur can liven up your favorite desserts when baked, making it a fun way to enjoy the fresh taste of limoncello.

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Celebrity chef and award-winning author Maria Liberati is considered one of the foremost experts on Italian cuisine and culture in the United States. Winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for her best-selling recipe novel series The Basic Art of Italian Cooking and her blog. Maria divides her…

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