Ingredient Discovery: Limoncello

Flavoured by the skin of locally grown Italian lemons, Limoncello is the perfect summer digestivo that can be enjoyed in more ways than you might think. Here, we share different ways to use it.


Limoncello, commonly dubbed the liquid sunshine of Italy, is one of the country’s most popular liqueurs. This much-loved digestivo – an alcoholic beverage consumed after a meal to aid in digestion – was developed out of the desire to use up lemons, a particularly plentiful fruit in Italy.

Limoncello is best served chilled – on its own, combined with other liqueurs when preparing cocktails, or paired with classic Italian desserts such as panna cotta and tiramisù. Although the lemon-flavoured liqueur is traditionally served as a beverage, it can also be eaten! Limoncello is excellent for sorbets, as a chilled topping over gelato and fresh fruit, or whisked into ricotta or mascarpone cheese. In recipes calling for a dash of lemon juice, try substituting it with a dash of Limoncello for a refreshingly sweet and tangy twist.

Arguably the greatest Limoncello is Limoncello di Sorrento, born on the Sorrento-Amalfi coast south of Naples. There, the esteemed oval-shaped lemon variety known as Limone di Sorrento IGP grows in abundance. In comparison to other types of lemons, Sorrento lemons have a peel of medium thickness that is rich with essential oils – ideal for a liqueur whose flavour is primarily produced from the peel. Although Limoncello di Sorrento is not widely available in Canada, there are many other authentic Made in Italy Limoncello available in commercial liquor stores and gourmet Italian food stores across the country.

Limoncello makes the perfect hostess gift for a summer barbecue. Celebrate with your loved ones the Italian way by raising your glasses filled with Limoncello and toasting to good health, great friendship and of course, great food.

Buon appetito!


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