The limoncello is a liqueur made from lemon zest. The process of making limoncello includes steeping lemon zest, or peels without the pith, in rectified spirit until the oil is released.
The limoncello is widely famous because of its unique origins, as well as its refreshing and rather potent taste. Like most other drinks made from lemon, it is an explosion of intense flavors that can not be classified as bitter or sour.
In Italy, making limoncello is a daily affair for many families, and this is whether the household can boast of their own vineyard or not. Over years of gaining specialty in making the liqueur, many such families develop their secret recipe for making limoncello.
However, the process generally requires the same know-how. For Pallini, a company that is popularly known for its delicious limoncello, the drink is produced following a special family-owned recipe.
Micaela Pallini, President and CEO of Pallini says:
"Limoncello is a very traditional Italian liqueur; it's really a family tradition. Most Italian families do it at home. The key to Limoncello is the quality of its ingredients and the procedure."
This perhaps explains why producing the limoncello is most common in southern Italy, particularly the sunny Sicily, the Gulf of Naples, and the Amalfi Coast, which have the perfect conditions (soil and weather) foster the growth of lemons.
The Pallini family uses the Sfusato Amalfitano, which is also known as Amalfi lemon and is protected, to make their limoncello.
Micaela Pallini describes the lemon as an exceptional one:
"This special lemon cannot really travel because it's not classified organic, but the way it's grown is very similar to an organic lemon. The lemon peel is extremely rich in lemon oils. If you dig your fingernail in the peel, you actually see the lemon oil coming out, so rich as it is, and this gives the Limoncello totally a different flavor."
Most importantly, these lemons are grown without the use of pesticides, which increases the quality of the liqueur produced.
The first step to making limoncello is harvesting the lemons; this is usually done by hand between spring and summer.
After handpicking, they are sent to the Pallini distillery. There, the limoncello is made, and a sample of it is examined to ascertain the alcoholic strength by volume and correct it, if necessary.
Next, the Limoncello is bottled and transferred to retailers. The Pallini's distillery in Rome produces as much as 9,000 liters every half hour!
Yes, that is just how amazing the limoncello is!