I can’t drink anything with Limoncello without thinking of Boston. 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 where I met my sister Lauren who had come in from Wisconsin and from 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 were 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 and the locale was amazing.
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 and at least made of point of driving by Cheers (loved that show). Still I could not wait to get back ‘home’ to our B&B and just visit with the local shopkeepers. On one excursion we ate the best damn Eggplant Marinara sandwich imaginable at a small local deli. That evening we were 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. Wait, strike that…it WAS magical!
Though I had never had Limoncello before I can promise you this…I’ve never been without it since. Since Emily is now in North Carolina and Lauren just moved to Vegas 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 inspired by a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis; I’m certain this makes a great light ‘cooler’ but I did not have sparkling water on hand. Luckily 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 raspberries instead of blueberries, the result is even prettier and I can see it gracing many a table during the summer and for special events all year long. Want to take it beyond the apertif? A bit of vodka is a nice addition and of course I tested it to make sure…just for you! Salut!
Make this for your Mom or yourself…I promise it’s perfect!
- Fresh raspberries (approximately 5 per cocktail)
- A couple of sprigs of mint
- 2 oz Limoncello liqueur, cold (I keep mine in the freezer; it doesn't freeze because of the alcohol content)
- 4 oz cold sparkling wine (or lemon flavored sparkling mineral water for a mocktail)
- 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, stir and then finish with 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.