I can’t drink anything with Limoncello without thinking of Boston; it was my inaugural experience with that luscious lemony liqueur. After my daughter Emily graduated from college her first job as a teacher was at a private school in the small town of Milford, CT. The summer after her first year of teaching, I traveled from Denver to New York City, met my sister Laura there and we drove to Milford. We spent a couple of days exploring that charming town and eating a TON of lobster before heading to Boston for five days. Five days of gorgeous weather, never seeing a whale on a boat we went out on just to see whales and meeting some of the most amazing people. I sampled Limoncello there for the first time and it truly was ‘love at first sip.’
I’ve heard more than one person lament their own experience in Boston and it usually includes having to deal with rude and impatient people. We must have been truly blessed; our entire trip was filled with the most fun people imaginable. We stayed at a charming Bed and Breakfast in the North End that turned out to be the perfect choice; Continental breakfasts were perfect for our busy schedule. I’ve not been to Italy but this felt close; the language, the humor and the amazing generosity of spirit we experienced. Everyone was so friendly and fun, even the pet lobster from the Union Oyster House (featured with my daughter and sis above) .
Sure we made it up to Harvard, bought the requisite sweatshirts too and at least made of point of driving by Cheers (loved that show) but I could not wait to get back ‘home’ to our B&B and just visit with the local shopkeepers, have the best damn Eggplant Marinara sandwich imaginable at a small local deli and be treated by the owner of my favorite restaurant to Limoncello after dinner. Great dinner, windows open to the street, twinkle lights sparkling everywhere and Limoncello? It was almost magical.
Though I had never had Limoncello before I can promise you this…I’ve never been without it since. I was ready to do an article on my homemade version of Limoncello a couple of years ago but in mentioning it to my friend Jenn (especially since I thought it needed another week), she told me about this cocktail she had made with Limoncello. I still had some in a bottle I had purchased and I knew I had to do this. Today I decided to bring this article out of the archives because it is just too perfect for the day we celebrate Moms (which I believe should be EVERYDAY!).
Since Emily is now in North Carolina and Lauren just moved to Vegas so I might be making a pitcher of these for Mother’s Day. Just for me. They are a light and lovely cocktail that make the transition from brunch to an afternoon apertif without a problem.
Originally a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis; Jenn had substituted raspberries for blueberries and since that combination is such a favorite of mine I had no intention of revising again; it was the perfect choice. While I’m certain this is a great light ‘cooler’ I did not have sparkling water on hand but I did have sparkling wine (no big surprise right?). I am a huge fan of both Cava (sparkling wine from Spain) and Prosecco (the same from Italy) and love it mixed with other liqueurs. Doesn’t Limoncello and Prosecco seem like the perfect Italian cocktail? With the addition of berries, the result is so pretty I can see it gracing many a table this weekend and more all summer long. Want to take it beyond the apertif? A bit of vodka is a nice addition and of course I tested it! Salut!
Make this for your Mom or yourself…I promise it’s perfect!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 2 cocktails
- Fresh raspberries (approximately 5 per cocktail)
- A couple of sprigs of mint
- 4 oz cold sparkling wine or lemon flavored sparkling mineral water
- 2 oz Limoncello liqueur, cold (I keep mine in the freezer; it doesn't freeze because of the alcohol content)
- Put your glasses in the freezer if possible, or at least the fridge so that they are cold.
- Put the raspberries on a plate; separated from each other and place in the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving time
- Gently 'smush' a couple of small mint leaves and add to each glass along with 5-6 of the frozen raspberry ice cubes.
- Add limoncello, then the sparkling wine or water.
The proportions for this cocktail use less Limoncello than Giada did. You might want to have a higher proportion of Limoncello but I thought this was perfect.
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