In Italy it is a good habit to sip something alcoholic to help digestion after a rich Italian meals.
Sometimes it is a grappa, or sometimes an amaro, but often it is a homemade liqueur, to be matched to the dessert, such as rucolino, myrtle liqueur and the most common homemade liqueur: limoncello.
Limoncello is a typical liqueur of Campania, made with citrus fruit peels, in particular lemons from the the Amalfi Coast and the Sorrento peninsula.
Limoncello is a fresh and sweet liqueur, with a characteristic yellow color. The alcohol content is about 30%.
This liqueur, which can be both homemade and industrially produced, is obtained by letting lemon peels macerate in pure alcohol with the addition of a syrup made of water and sugar. Once prepared it must be kept in bottle for at least 1 month before being tasted.
Limoncello is an excellent digestive and it is typically consumed at the end of a meal, however it can also be used for wetting or aromatizing sweets, fruit salads and ice creams. Its preparation is simple but it is necessary to follow well all the passages and to use fresh lemons and of the proper varieties, like those from Campania or Sicily, such as those from Campania or Sicily, absolutely from organic farming (remember that the peel is part of the recipe), richer in essential oils which give limoncello its scent and its unique and strong taste.
The history of limoncello is not completely clear, probably it is a traditional recipe of southern Italy and then, because of its popularity since the eighties of ‘900 is also produced at industrial level. The homemade preparation, with its variety of flavors due to slight differences in recipes and lemons used, remains the favorite of Italians.
There is also a variant of this liqueur, called Crema di limoncello (Limoncello Cream), which is made by mixing the same infusion of lemon peels used for limoncello with a delicate milk cream. The result is a soft and scented liqueur, with a more delicate taste than the classic limoncello.
A glass of limoncello, served iced, is often offered by restaurants at the end of the meal.