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Tag Archives: apertif

Limoncello


Limoncello is  a tart slightly sweet liquor that’s best ice cold. It’s served all over Italy as an after dinner drink, aperitif or  anytime you want! The original recipe is from Sorrento along the Amalfi Coast where we learned the secrets for making true limoncello from a local family, the Coppelli’s. Gino and his sister gave us lessons over a several day process at their Residence Santa Lucia where we stayed for 2 heavenly weeks.

Dave made the Coppeli family limoncello this week for the holidays to give as Christmas gifts. He found 125 ml and 250 ml bottles with cork stoppers, similar to the bottles our friends in Sorrento used. 


Here is the process

  • In  a 1 or 2 gallon glass jar combine

Yellow rind from 14 large or about 20 typical size organic lemons (only use the yellow peel, not the white pith and not the juice either!) use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel the yellow rind

2 liters 96% alcohol (we used Everclear purchased in Ohio since 96% is unavailable in Michigan. Vodka is NOT a substitute!)


  • Cover and let sit 4 days to 2 weeks. The lemon rind will take on a leather like texture and the alcohol will turn a beautiful lemon yellow

  • Make a simple syrup solution by combining and heating to a boil

5 cups sugar

10 cups water

  • Let the syrup cool overnight
  • Add the syrup to the lemons and alcohol


The limoncello becomes milky when the 96% alcohol is used. Because vodka contains less alcohol you end up with a clear solution which is not what you want. We made that mistake last year!

  • Mix and cover. Let sit 1-4 days
  • Ladle into 4 or 8 ounce clear jars by pouring into a funnel lined with 2-4 layers of cheesecloth

In Sorrento our master instructor used rolled cotton rather than cheese cloth to strain the limoncello. This is the best filter. Use a Watman filter paper or something similar.The cheese cloth allows a fine residue to pass through.


Store in a cool place. Place a bottle of limoncello in the freezer several hours before serving ice cold. Freeze your serving glasses too!

This is Gino Coppelli. He and his sister were our limoncello instructors in Sorrento.



Bella Bella!

Balsamic Vinegar Apertif

Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar is Delicious as an Apertif

Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar is Delicious as an Apertif

As an after dinner drink to settle the stomach, balsamic vinegars have long been a favorite. This week I discovered Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar at Peggy Finger’s oil & vinegar shop in Midland. It is addicting! The color is so beautiful and bright and it has a perfect combo of tart and fruitiness!

After drinking a few glasses of wine at a dinner party, an alcohol free digestive like the original and flavored balsamic vinegars we have today are a welcome change to the high alcohol limoncello, grappa, brandies and cordials usually served. They settle the stomach and give us a chance to use our fancy cordial glasses tucked away in our cabinets!  Enjoy!

For info about the craft of making balsamic vinegar:

http://yumfood.org/articles/balsamico.html

Mercato di O & V is Peggy Finger’s shop located on Rodd Street 1/2 block off of Main Street, downtown Midland.

https://www.facebook.com/mercatodiov