When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Limoncello Cocktails
by Linda Stewart
Lemons are not only aromatic, decorative, and flavorful, but with their high levels of Vitamin C and their antioxidant properties, they are also beneficial to your health. And, best of all for me, they are the star ingredient in the luscious liqueur, limoncello. Originally produced in Southern Italy, limoncello seems like a natural spirit for California, a state that produces 90 percent of the lemons grown in the United States. Among the California producers of limoncello, Red Soles Winery in Paso Robles Wine Country shines bright. Making premium spirits from premium grapes is the creative endeavor of owners, Randy and Cheryl Phillips. They use the sweeter and more floral Meyer lemons in their version of a brandy-based limoncello. To read about Red Soles’ distillation approach and to check out their limoncello cocktail recipes, go to food, wine, and travel writer Linda Kissam’s article at http://www.examiner.com/article/red-soles-winery-stillhouse-limoncello-recipes.
For a different take on the classic Lemon Drop Martini, branch out and try the following decidedly lemon-forward limoncello version.
2 oz. vodka
1 oz. limoncello
1 oz. simple syrup
1 ½ oz. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 to 40 seconds so ice crystals can form. Strain into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with lemon twist. This recipe makes one cocktail.
First two photos by Stefanie Pell. Final photo by Linda Stewart.