kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


La La Limoncello

Anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows that while I like all kinds of wine (among other beverages...), I'm always drawn to those that make my mouth tingle. Call them acidic, crisp, tart, zingy, zesty, whatever, I love the refreshing feeling that these drinks have, and the way they pair so well with food, making you want to return again and again for another bite. My mouth is watering as I type this...

Enter limoncello. This favored Italian liqueur, made from lemons, sugar and vodka or grain alcohol, now has a place in my freezer--I splurged on a bottle this past weekend. Kept chilled, a shot of it is a lovely ending ("digestivo") to a big meal, or a great little patio sipper with good friends and good conversation on hot summer nights. Both tart and sweet, and not TOO high in alcohol to be enjoyed in the summer months (my bottle is 26% abv), limoncello is just. simply. delicious.

There were several brands from which to choose at my local ABC store, and I opted for Pallini. Pallini also makes similar liqueurs made of peach and raspberry--I haven't tried those, and I think they might be a bit too sweet for me. The fact that limoncello is made from lemons from Italy's Amalfi Coast also draws me to it. I remember watching so many episodes of "Molto Mario" where chef Mario Batali waxed poetic about the beautiful Amalfi Coast.

Look for Pallini, Caravella and, later on this summer, actor Danny Devito's Limoncello, on store shelves. The ones I saw on the shelf this past weekend all cost about $22, and I'm not sure how much Danny's will retail for.

Or you can try your hand at making your own. Though patience is needed--authentic limoncello needs to steep for about 80 days. Maybe buy a bottle to drink now, and then enjoy your homemade concoction when it's ready at the end of summer...