Words by Simon Difford
Lemon is one of the most used cocktail ingredients, so it stands to reason that a liqueur flavoured with prized Italian Amalfi coast lemons should be part of a bartenders’ palette. Limoncello liqueur has a concentrated zesty freshness which enlivens cocktails, parring well with flavours such as basil, honey, agave and tea.
20 best limoncello cocktails
With: Citrus vodka, limoncello, lemon juice and sugar syrup.
We say: Lemon, lemon and lemon, but well-balanced, refreshing and tasty. A great early summer's evening cocktail.
With: Pisco, limoncello, gentian, Yellow Chartreuse and bianco vermouth.
We say: As the name suggests, this pisco based, five equal part, vivid yellow bittersweet aperitif was inspired by the classic Negroni and three of the world's most iconic yellow liqueurs: limoncello, gentian and Chartreuse Jaune.
With: Vanilla vodka, limoncello, butterscotch schnapps, lemon juice and vanilla syrup.
We say: Relive your youth and the taste of those big round sweets with this sweet-n-sour lemony cocktail.
With: Lime juice, honey, cachaça, limoncello, Aperol, basil and egg white.
We say: Bittersweet and complex with underlying cachaça character. Perfect as an aperitivo.
With: Light rum, Cynar, limoncello, honey syrup and Peychaud's bitters.
We say: Honey-ed and initially sweet with herbal spirity rum notes adding depth.
With: Cognac, triple sec, limoncello and lemon juice.
We say: This Difford version of the established Jamie's Italian Gennaro's Sidecar is predictably boozier than the original, but retains the balance between sweet limoncello liqueur and tart lemon juice.
With: White wine, limoncello, hazelnut liqueur and lemon juice.
We say: Tastes rather like a bon bon (a round, sugar coated, lemon flavoured sweet).
Lemon Meringue Pie'tini
With: Limoncello, sugar syrup, lemon juice, cream and Licor 43.
We say: Rich and syrupy base sipped through a vanilla cream topping.
Lemon Sherbet Margarita
With: Blanco tequila, limoncello, lemon juice, lemon sorbet and agave syrup.
We say: This margarita does indeed have a sherbet flavour with a lemony citrus bite.
With: Gin, Yellow Chartreuse, limoncello and lemon juice.
We say: Lemon subtly dominates this complex, herbal drink.
With: Ginger, coriander, citrus vodka, limoncello, pineapple juice and apple liqueur.
We say: Each sip is fruity, lemon fresh and followed by a hot ginger hit.
With: Gin, limoncello and pink grapefruit juice.
We say: This fruity, grapefruit-led drink is pleasantly bitter and sour.
With: Dry gin, dry vermouth, limoncello and Green Chartreuse.
We say: A wet martini flavoured with copious amounts of limoncello liqueur (which slightly sweetens and adds surprisingly subtle lemon favours) and a dash of Chartreause which shines through.
With: Fresh raspberries, vodka, limoncello and sugar syrup
We say: This vodka laced, rich (but not overly sweet) raspberry cocktail is a crowd pleaser.
Red Earl (salvatore’s recipe)
With: Root ginger, raspberries, vodka and limoncello.
We say: Fresh ginger adds a hint of spice which combines well with the raspberry fruit in this crowd-pleasing vodka-based cocktail.
With: Cognac, limoncello, sweet vermouth and peach bitters.
We say: Spirituous and bittersweet with a cleansing citrusy bite and underlying cognac complexity, this cocktail is suited to both aperitif and after-dinner occasions.
With: Light rum, limoncello, lime juice, sugar syrup and champagne.
We say: A refreshing zesty lemon Daiquiri topped with a splash of champagne.
With: Campari, limoncello and blood orange juice.
We say: Bitter Campari notes are balanced by sweet, lemony limoncello liqueur with blood orange juice adding citrus freshness.
Spiked Arnold Palmer
With: Limoncello, cold black tea and lemon juice.
We say: Tea tannins and sour lemon balance rich limoncello liqueur in this refreshing low alcohol cocktail. Perfect for summer.
Tratto Limoncello Cocktail
With: Bourbon, limoncello, dry vermouth, orange bitters and Angostura Aromatic Bitters.
We say: Bourbon laced lemon sherbet - a bittersweet aperitif.