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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!

Beautiful Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, Part 2

  
 We took a stunningly beautiful day trip to Càpri. Notice I placed an accent on the first syllable which is the correct pronunciation!  Gino Coppola from Residence Santa Lucia  arranged it all. His friend picked us up at the apartment with another family of 6 and drove us along the Amalfi Coast to a tiny village where we boarded the small boat.

We boated to Càpri and enjoyed the views halfway around to Marina Piccolo. We stopped at the beach cafe and then took the bus to the town of Càpri. We explored the pretty town and walked through the Augusta Gardens with the dramatic views of the sea. We ate our caprese paninis the boat tour provided in the shade outside these gardens.

We took a cool convertible cab with an awning back to Marina Piccolo where we enjoyed the beach. This was much more pleasant than the bus! We finished our ride around the island and stopped at a few grottos to swim.  The Blue Grotto was closed by the time we arrived late in the day.

 

Capri

  

Marina Piccolo

    

Capri Cab Beats the Bus!


  

Marina Piccolo Mermaid

  
 

  

Augusta Gardens

  
  

  
  

Swimming Through the Arch

   
 

Dramatic Coastline of Capri

  

The Arch of Love

 
  
We arrived back home around 7 and enjoyed a Thai dinner that Nutnapha, Gino’s sister in law, made for us. Green Curry, Spring Rolls, Pad Thai and Fried Shrimp. Delicious!

   
   
Today Pietro drives us on a tour along the Amalfi Coast! First stop is Positano, a charming touristy and quaint town where we explored and had a coffee along the beach. The girls bought original paintings of the town. Then we drove south to a ceramic discount shop where the girls made purchases. Along the way we stopped to see the views of the sea and enjoyed fresh orange and lemon juices

  
 

Beautiful Positano


Pietro took us to a phenomenal restaurant for lunch just outside of the town of Amalfi called 

Tratorria da Ciccio Cielo Mare e Tera which has been family run since 1931. Cielo, Mare e Terra refer to sky, sea and land. Ciccio is the owner.

   

The views were incredible from the floor to ceiling windows along 2 complete sides of the restaurant. There was also a balcony!

    
I haven’t found our pics yet of the food we ate, but it was one of the best meals of our trip. Here were our selections:

Home made short pasta strands with seafood over a potato and lemon purée! That lemon was a real enhancement!

Spaghetti and seafood cooked in a bag! The bag was like parchment and was presented with much fanfare

Home made pasta with sausage over a cream of broccoli purée 

A mozzarella ball mixture over tomato sauce special appetizer

  

Their own limoncello served with fresh blackberries

 
 

 

 
    
 

That evening we picked up a pizza from Pizzeria Da Franco in Sorrento and brought it home for a late dinner.

 

Pizza with Proscuitto, Cheese and Arugula

 
On our last day and we explored Sorrento on our own and hung out at the pool. We ate leftover pizza for lunch. Gino dropped off some of his spaghetti with mussels for us to try! Delish! 

For dinner Gino arranged a cab to take us up into the hills to a typical local Sorrento restaurant.  Da Filippo. It was on a small farm where the smells of manure were present fertilizing the vegetable gardens.There was no view, but the place was filled with locals.

 

Beef Steak with Porchini Mushroom Sauce

  

Homemade Pasta with Seafood

  

Mixed Grilled Meats

  

Grilled Chicken

  

Rotini with Seafood

 

After dinner we took a cab to the Hilton for the view and desserts. Then we walked home from there. 

 

Layers of Thin Pastry, Chocolate and Custard

  

Strawberry Puree with Strawberry Mousse and White Pieces of Candy

 
The kids left the next morning for their adventures to Sardinia, Corsica, Naples and Rome!