On my recent trip to Sorrento to visit Villa Massa, makers of quality Italian limoncello since 1880, I drank more limoncello in 48 hours than I’ve had in my entire life. Just ask the Lemon Squad—my fellow travellers Dish Tales, Manify, City Guys, and Grazia vlogger Shady Fereidooni. They’ll testify.
But if you think I had only endless shots of limoncello, think again! I discovered, with the guidance of Team Villa Massa, that there are more ways to enjoy Villa Massa limoncello than I ever thought possible.
Here are five of my favorites for you to try.
As a digestivo
This is the most famous and the most typical way to enjoy Villa Massa’s world famous limoncello. And for good reason: if you eat as much as Southern Italians do, you’re going to need to burn through all that pasta.
The perfect Villa Massa moment: after a long, lazy lunch with friends. Loud laughter. Multiple courses. In a chilled limoncello glass, for that authentic Italian touch. Salute!
With a tonic
If you know Instagrambloggers by know, you’ll know that we can’t resist a gin and tonic. So when the smiling Gennaro came to me with a tray of Villa Massa & Tonica, I had to stop myself from taking the whole tray.
This is my new favorite way to enjoy limoncello: with tonic water and fresh basil, on ice. Sara Massa explained that the Villa Massa & Tonica was created to refresh visitors who came to tour the family’s lemon groves in the heat of the Italian summer.
Not everyone can enjoy a strong limoncello in the burning sun, but a cool, citrusy twist on a G&T? Who could say no to that? I sure didn’t!
In your espresso
What? Before you think I’m pazzo, listen. Southern Italians have been doing this for generations. It’s called caffe corretto—or caffe corretto alla limoncello, to be exact: a shot of espresso with a few drops of limoncello. The limoncello gives the coffee a little kick, a subtle citrusy lift that makes it more than your basic everyday shot.
A caffe corretto can also be enjoyed with other types of spirits: alla grappa, alla sambuca, or al cognac. But you are talking to the lemon-obsessed here. For me, there is no other option. You don’t want to ruin a good brew with a lousy limoncello, so use only Villa Massa, per favore.
With its siblings
You know limoncello. But have you met its siblings crema di limoncello, arancello, liquore di mandarini and liquore di mandarini?
Villa Massa produces these liqueurs following essentially the same processes as its flagship product limoncello, with a few tweaks. For crema di limoncello, lemon peels are infused in milk instead of alcohol; for arancello, liquore di mandarini and liquore di noci, the essential oils from fresh oranges, mandarins and walnuts are used.
The good news is: they are all pretty damn delicious. Espresso with walnut liqueur? Dark, rich, nutty, almost as bitter than your ex. And mandarini on its own is perfect, just a light, balanced, not-too-sweet end to a good meal.
The bad news? You can only get them in Italy at the moment—at least until Villa Massa listens to our pleas to bring them here. But hey, now you have four excellent reasons to plan a trip to Italy.
In an aperitivo
Aperitivi are an Italian art form. For our aperitif overlooking the romantic island of Capri, bartenders at the four-star Relais Blu in Marciano Termini—a tiny village between the Sorrento Peninsula and Amalfi Coast—created for us the Sanguinella.
This sunset-colored aperitif combines Villa Massa Arancello (Orange) with another Italian classic: Campari. With fresh lemon, verbena and ice cubes, the Sanguinella is best enjoyed overlooking a stunning sunset, before another night of eating way too much, Southern Italian style.
Is there a secret way to enjoy limoncello that we don’t know about? Ping us in the comments!