When Richie and I visited Italy (specifically the island of Capri) several years ago, I was introduced to a wonderful Italian lemon liqueur called Limoncello. Limoncello on its own is a wonderful drink that is traditionally served chilled, following a meal as a digestivo. Mainly the Italians believe it would help aide in digestion.
Limoncello is made by soaking lemon zest in grain alcohol until the oils are released. The result is a tangy, lemony, and really strong alcohol mixture which is then mixed with a simple syrup to give it its sweet flavor and almost creamy texture. Nothing follows a heavy Italian meal quite like Limoncello.
Because it is quite strong and sweet, Limocello really is best enjoyed after a heavy meal so in this weeks cocktail I was looking to include the flavors of Limoncello but present them in a lighter way. I wanted a drink that could be enjoyed on its own – anytime!
2 Ounces Limoncello
4 Ounces Sparkling Water (Club Soda)
2 Lemon slices
1 Maraschino Cherry
Cherry juice or Grenadine
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add one slice of lemon and muddle to release the juice. Pour in the limoncello and the sparkling water. Shake gently to chill and strain into the cocktail glass of your choice. Add one maraschino cherry and just a touch of cherry juice or grenadine. Do not stir. Allow the cherry juice to settle to the bottom. Garnish with a slice of lemon and serve. This makes an excellent drink on a hot day.
*Note that my Limoncello was homemade (by my friend Jenna!) and not quite as vibrant in color as some store bought products. Store bought Limincello may result in a more yellow drink.