When someone says to think of a country, there are probably several aspects of that country that come to mind as well. Australia and kangaroos, Mexico and tacos, Italy and designer clothes are all combinations that would commonly be thought of.
Let’s take a closer look at Italy, though. Neapolitan pizza, pasta, Ferrari and great cocktails are all some of Italy’s most recognizable icons, and with summer upon us, the time for some great, refreshing cocktails is here. Whether it’s for celebrating a special occasion or just an evening spent with family or friends, a classic Italian cocktail is always a good choice.
Perhaps two of the most iconic alcoholic beverages that hail from the Mediterranean country of Italy are limoncello and Prosecco. Individually, they are superb to sip on, but together they create the perfectly balanced fruity, bubbly cocktail to fit every occasion from brunch to New Year’s Eve.
Background on the staple ingredient involved in this delicious cocktail
There’s a national legend about limoncello that states that Capri is where the limoncello first was invented.
In the early 1900s, a woman by the name of Lady Maria Antonia Farace lived in a tiny home on the island of Capri, just off the coast of mainland Italy. Because of the ideal climate, it was easy for her to grow her own lemons and oranges that were both for eating and making liqueurs. Whenever guests would visit her, she would serve them her homemade citrus liqueurs.
Her delicious lemon-based liqueur gained popularity when her grandson opened a bar after WWII and served limoncello drinks from the family recipe.
While Capri’s lemons are believed to be the original fruits of limoncello, traditional limoncello can also be made with lemons from Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast as well, while the recipes or production process may vary ever so slightly.
The ingredients of the famous liqueur are the same though and consist of lemon zest, sugar, water, and alcohol (either vodka or grappa). The famous lemons are harvested by hand, in the warmer months between February and October, to ensure that they never touch the ground.
How to drink and serve limoncello?
In Italy, limoncello is typically sipped on as a before (aperitif) or after a meal (digestif), never over ice but always chilled.
Often limoncello is served in a shot glass or ceramic cup but always intended to be sipped and not gulped. As mentioned above, limoncello cocktails that can be made are fantastic and worth trying if you are a fan of the citrus liqueur.
Here are some limoncello cocktail recipes to check out:
A lighter take on of the Old Fashioned, this citrus-infused bourbon drink is perfect for those warm summer nights.
No one thought a Tom Collins could be improved upon until now. Swap limoncello in for the simple syrup and you have a twist on a classic.
Limoncello & Bubbles
Last but certainly not least, this extremely simple to make, yet perfectly balanced, drink for all occasions combines two of Italy’s finest alcoholic beverages. Prosecco adds the distinct bubbles with fruity undertones that pairs flawlessly with limoncello.
Prosecco and limoncello: a match made in heaven
All that is required for a perfect Prosecco and limoncello cocktail recipe is to add one ounce of limoncello to a champagne flute and top off with Prosecco. Make sure both the Prosecco and limoncello are served chilled. Prosecco and limoncello go together as well as peanut butter and jelly (even better in some peoples’ opinion).
When it comes to making the right choice, reach for a bottle of Zonin Prosecco. Since 1821, the Zonin family has been operating the largest Glera grape vineyards in all of Italy and have been producing exquisite wines ever since. Find out where you can get your hands on a bottle for your next brunch with limoncello and Prosecco.