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The Lemony Secrets
Walk into a bar or cafe in Italy and as well as the espresso and coffee machine the size of a
small tank (and similarly constructed), you'll be presented with an array of brightly-coloured
and interestingly-shaped bottles containing liquids of indeterminate origin. The Italians,
perhaps even more so than any other nationality love their liqueurs, drinks designed to be
drunk either before or after a meal to either stimulate appetite or to ease digestion. They're
made with a vast array of fruits - such as the familiar Limoncello made with lemons from Amalfi
- or herbs and spices, roots and aromatics, which combine to create all manner of strange,
although usually interesting flavours. As with most things in Italy each region has its own
speciality liqueur, some more appetising than others. Do you want to learn more? Visit
The Italians love liqueurs, it seems as though every
meal you ever have in Italy, whether it be in a
restaurant or with a family, a different liqueur is pulled
out for you to taste. One of the most popular drinks in
any Italian household isn't a liqueur but a spirit called
Grappa. Grappa is really the only full-strength
domestic spirit you're likely to find in Italy. Made with
the skins, stalks and other residue resultant from wine
making, grappa is distilled to at least 40 per cent by
volume and sold without aging. There are exceptions, with some 'dark' grappas being aged in
oak barrels prior to release, but this is relatively rare. Be careful with this sprit as qualities do
vary, especially in the home made varieties which can sometimes more resemble paint stripper!
One of the very best known liqueurs is Amaretto which originates from 1525, almost five
centuries ago. The recipe has changed slightly over time as it used to be made using the kernels
of apricots principally. Today almond essence is added to give it its distinctive taste and aroma
that we now recognise.
The precise recipe at the world famous Disaronno factory is still a closely-guarded secret. It's
usually drunk over ice, with a squeeze of lemon juice, at the end of a meal to help with the
digestion, although it is also used in coffee and as a key ingredient in cocktails. It was later,
however, and especially during the mid 1800s, that Italian drinks makers began to experiment
with differing selections of botanicals to create liqueurs that are well-known brands today.
Campari, for instance the bright red
aperitivo that mixes well with tonic (add a
wedge of lime!) and fresh orange juice over
ice was created in the 1860s by Gaspare
Campari, a lad of just 14 years at the time,
despite being a master drinks maker at the
Bass Bar in Turin. He combined a total of 60 ingredients, mostly peels, barks and herbs, to
concoct a drink that would 'get the juices flowing prior to eating. He then marketed it across
the country, pioneering the whole concept of bar advertising where bars were obliged to
display a 'Campari bitters sold here' type sign in return for the privilege of stocking the stuff.
Lemons are pretty well known for the beauty-skin wonders they create. The lemony liquor is a
homemade drink with lot of lemons and almonds in it. The shelf-life of the liquor is not too long
and in order to enjoy its actual color and flavor, make sure you don't preserve it for a long
period of time. The limoncello can be prepared using a citrus juicer and don't miss to serve it in
an Italian decanter. The site also lists the lemony lime cookbooks and finally, the fair use of a
zester to make limoncello.
Visit this site to learn more: