We celebrated limoncello in our first issue of Hudson Valley Connoisseur. Now that June has returned, it’s time to revisit this elegant summer cordial. It’s one of my favorites.
Here’s an excerpt of the article we published in June 2006:
For an elegant taste of summer, Italian-style, serve limoncello. This traditional sunny yellow drink of the Amalfi Coast is a delicious way to beat the Hudson Valley heat or relax after a strenuous game of bocce. Authentic limoncello (sometimes called limoncino – or lemoncello in the United States—limone is lemon in Italian) is made from Sorrento lemons infused in alcohol. Limoncello can be enjoyed straight up as an after-dinner drink or used in a variety of cocktail recipes. It also can be drizzled over ice cream, fruit or simple baked desserts.
For the best taste, store the bottle in the freezer. Do as they do in Sorrento and serve it the traditional way—icy cold in ceramic cups (to better hold its chill) or use your favorite cordial glasses.
Eduardo Lauria, who owns Aroma Osteria in Wappingers Falls and Il Barilotto in Fishkill, is a native of Italy. ”I am from Napoli, and there everyone makes limoncello. It’s like pasta in Italy," he says. "It’s only become trendy here in the past 10 years. I was one of the first who was serving limoncello here in the Hudson Valley. I make it homemade up here, and I serve it in both of my restaurants. We disclose that it is homemade. We’ve shared the recipe with the CIA (Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park).”
Many of the Hudson Valley’s quality wine and spirits shops carry limoncello. I've seen it's at Rick’s Wine & Spirits, 12 Gay St, Sharon, Connecticut, 860-364-5768 and Sipperley's Grog Shoppe, Inc., 7510 North Broadway, Red Hook, 845-758-9421.