When Life Hands You Lemons…

By Abi King | Europe

Oct 28

Lemons in basket Amalfi

Lemons. They’re all over the place in the narrow streets of olive and stone-soaked Amalfi. Lemons in baskets. Lemons on walls. Lemon shaped soap and even, if you look hard enough, lemons on trees.

Lemons on aprons, lemons on beads. Lemons on menus and even on cheese.

Yet for all the creative lemonery that Amalfi and its namesake coast inspires, there’s one clear winner when it comes to citrus-swishing indulgence.

And it’s not lemonade.

Limoncello shop Amalfi

That’s right, it’s limoncello, a drink concocted from the core principles of lemonade (lemons and sugar) but brought to Mediterranean life by the cheeky addition of alcohol. Lemon peel (strictly speaking from the lemons of Sorrento only) cosy up to grain alcohol for a while before syrup gets involved and the party really begins.

It’s served as a digestif. And an aperitif. And you’ll also find it in boot-shaped glass bottles with Italia scrawled across.

Limoncello muralBut despite these levels of ostentation, it’s actually refreshingly sweet. Tangy, tasty, twisty. Somehow, limoncello manages to dance around its perceived dalliances with cold and flu remedies and children’s playground sherbet to emerge as a serious alternative to whisky and gin in a gentleman’s oak polished drinks cabinet.

Or so it seems when you’re here.

In the central courtyard of Amalfi, where fountains fizz and flagstones dazzle, fresh and wet beneath the moonlight and the sparkling shadows of the soft summer rain…well, anything sounds like a good idea.

Even a spirit called limoncello. Served in the shape of a boot.


Central Amalfi

Info, disclosure and all that jazz…

I discovered limoncello in Amalfi thanks to Headwater Holidays who enticed me to this brilliantly beautiful slice of Italian coast with the wholesome promise of walking along it. This I did, in due course, but these tales of lemons and limoncello come from one of the shorter walks. From clifftop hotel to the centre of town on my first night in southern Italy. Salute!

Have you tried limoncello? Love it or…


About the Author

Abigail King is a writer and photographer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road. Now published by Lonely Planet, the BBC, CNN, National Geographic Traveler & more, she feels most at home experimenting here: covering unusual journeys, thoughtful travel and luxury on www.insidethetravellab.com

I love Limoncello but it gives me major heartburn. Solution? I’m learning to live with heartburn. :)

Paula McInerney November 3, 2013

Limencello in Sorrento at 10 in the morning as each shop keeper ‘begged’ us to try there version, made the cobble stones wonky.

Sherry Viray November 4, 2013

Limoncello in Tuscany in my experience packed a big punch, and you wouldn’t know it until hours later since it taste so tang sweet good … glad you discovered it, too.

suresha December 16, 2013

Great list of images and contents. i’m very pleasant about reading this topic. thanks for sharing this one.

Brian December 24, 2013

It is best served chilled and is the second most popular liqueur in Italy. Yum!

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