House Limoncello is the drink of this region. Every restaurant makes a slightly different version of this very punchy, fragrant liqueur, and it always arrives in a chilled shot glass at the end of your meal. Beware, it’s considered poor form not to drink it. Last summer, after visiting five restaurants with my dad for some much needed recipe research, let’s just say we needed more than a cab to get us home!
Makes 1 litre
- 10 good-quality unwaxed lemons, rinsed and dried (Amalfi if you want to be fancy)
- 700ml vodka
For the syrup
- 230g unrefined caster sugar, to taste
- 230ml water
- Peel the skins off the lemons – don’t keep too much of the white pith as it will make the limoncello too bitter.
- Place all the pared lemon zest into a large jar and pour over the vodka. Seal with the lid and leave to infuse in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight for about 1 week. The longer it is left, the stronger the flavour.
- Strain the vodka through a sieve into a jug and set to one side.
- Make the syrup by combining the sugar and water in a saucepan and placing it over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook for about five minutes until slightly reduced.
- Remove and pour the syrup into the jug with the vodka and taste to check for sweetness. You can make more sugar syrup if you prefer a sweeter taste.
- Decant the syrup into a sterilised bottle and store it in the fridge where it will keep for up to one year. Before serving, put it in the freezer, Capri-style, for 20 minutes to get it super-cold.