When Life Gives You Lemons….Make a Limoncello Martini!

After watching an episode on the Travel Channel whereby Samantha Brown samples homemade Italian limoncello, I had to buy a bottle when I was on an MSC cruise (the Italian cruise line). Carefully, I wrapped it in my suitcase and brought it home unscathed.  Immediately the bottle was placed in my freezer and later that evening I tried my first limoncello shot. This was an authentic limoncello, no yellow food coloring or added flavor and it was wonderful; a sweet, lemony taste without any bitterness or alcohol-y aftertaste.

Between sharing with friends and family, that first bottle of limoncello lasted only about two weeks.  I’ve since purchased it at my local liquor stores, but usually there is food coloring added, which I would rather not have in my drinks.

My daughter stopped by my house the other day and, after rummaging through my liquor cabinet and freezer said, “Mom, let’s make a limoncello martini, the recipe is on the bottle.”  Sounding like an interesting concept, we took out the usual supplies:  shaker, stirrer (just in case), shot measurer and two straight-up glasses.  The recipe called for equal parts limoncello and vodka.  In went the ingredients, a nice shake, pour and taste.  For me, it was too syrup-y sweet and my connoisseur co-bartender agreed.  We poured the contents back into the shaker and carefully measured enough vodka to make it a 2:1 formula.  This time I stirred the drink just to use my new stirring spoon and strained the martini back into the glasses.  This seemed to do the trick.

Next time I make a limoncello martini, I’ll try a 2 1/2 :1 ratio.  I am not a fan of a really sweet drink and I think this might be a perfect combination.  Be sure to float a very thin slice of lemon on the top as well as a curlicue lemon twist on the rim.

Now I’m on a mission to create my own of limoncello, using organic lemons, either vodka or Everclear and a simple sugar syrup.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.


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