Lemons of Sorrento

I had no idea that  Italy is the world’s largest producer of lemons but I’m a believer after a week in Sorrento and the Amalfi coast. IMG_7665

Lemons are grown on the rocky cliff sides along the Sorrento Peninsula in the limestone rich soil.   As we drove along the Amalfi Coast we could see the lemon groves rising high into the steep cliffs above the blue Mediterranean Sea.


I’ve gotten my vitamin C this week drinking lemon ices, limencello and fresh squeezed lemon and orange juice. IMG_7928


 In the streets of Sorrento or any of the towns we’ve visited along the Amalfi drive, you can find dozens of shops selling lemon concoctions and lemons that are almost as big as your head.   IMG_7558

The iconic almost neon-yellow liqueur of Sorrento, Limoncello, gets its flavor and color from the infusion of  lemons rinds in pure alcohol. According to legends, limencello was developed in the Santa Rosa convent in Conca dei Marini where the nuns used the liqueur to make lemon pastry.

It depends on who you ask though, others told me limoncello was used in the morning by fishermen to fight the cold, or created by monks to drink in monasteries.

We stopped into the Old Limenello Factory in Sorrento for a tasting and to learn more about the regional drink.  Unfortunately our guide didn’t speak much english so I can’t share much from this visit other than cream of limoncello is a cream liqueur that is sweeter, thicker, and paler than the regular limencello.IMG_7664

Lemons are the symbol of Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast region and they sell lemon everything here! I wish I had more room in my suitcase to fill it with lemons, limencello, lemon soap…..

For a taste of Sorrento,  you can make limencello at home using this recipe.  All you need is: lemons (roughly 6 to 7 large or about 10 small), pure grain alcohol, water and sugar.  Meyer lemons are the best substitute if you can’t get Sorrento lemons.

IMG_7969My favorite way to drink it is prosecco with a splash of limencello.  Cin Cin!