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Jun 12, 2006 01:23 PM

Limoncello in Naples?

  • f

I've heard that Naples has some of the best limoncello and since a lot is made there it can have some of the best for a good price. I'll be around Italy and eventually will get to Naples soon. What kind of limoncello should I look for, where and about how many Euros should I expect to spend? If it's better to get somewhere else or in Sicily or something let me know. But Naples will probably be most convenient.

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  1. A very good one is ROSSI D'ASIAGO. You should be able to buy it anywhere in Naples. But why do you really want to. Most limoncellos are the same in quality or at least similar) and can be bought in most good liquor stores in the US (and is cheap). Good luck.

    6 Replies
    1. re: fatboy44

      I agree. Why buy it in Naples when you can easily get very good Limoncello in the USA, and cheaply? It is not exactly a "high class" liquor. It is just grain alcohol to which lemons or lemon flavoring has been added, and then the whole filtered and bottled. Don't imagine (as the makers would like you to) old world recipes and traditional techniques involving a vat of lemons and sugar allowed to sit for a few days, ferment, and then the liquid drawn off and aged. It's a very "industrial" and not "artigianal" beverage. All the same, I like it, once in a while, even if there is no romance.

      1. re: Fred Stare

        If this is the case, then what "high class" liquor is out there that I should be on the look out for? I'm always kind of looking out for something. Unfortunately wine is now my thing, so I'm not really looking that way, though I know there's plenty.

        1. re: frienetic

          You said "unfortunately wine is (now) my thing". If you meant to say "wine is (not) my thing" then just ignore this post.

          If wine is your thing then look for a nice Amarone. A good bottle will easily set you back $50 and up in the US. You can buy some great wines like that for a much better price in Italy. Amarone is a good after dinner wine and goes real well with a nice cigar and some good chocolate. The years 98, 99 and 2000 were good so anything you can find within that time frame and that suits your wallet should be fine. Go to a cafe first and have an Amarone with your espresso before you buy a few bottles. That way you'll know what you are getting yourself into. Amarone should be seen in the same light as Port and consumed much the same way. Good luck hunting.

          1. re: frienetic

            Look into Grappas. Personally I can't stand the stuff (real fire water) but the bottles are very fanciful and beautiful, so if you too don't like the contents, at least you can admire the container.

        2. re: fatboy44

          I have very fond memories of hauling back special liquors from places, plus something about that description of manufacture bothered me, so I googled limoncello and artisan and got plenty of hits. One is below.

          It would seem that limoncello is still being made other than just tossing stuff in grain alcohol. One just has to seek it out. I also find the claim that you can buy it just as cheap here as there to be suspect---I've never found local liquors to be as cheap in the US as they are on their home turf and I've been sadly disappointed to find that a particular item was NOT in the duty free when I got there.

          Do some searches, buy some limoncello on your trip, bring it home, drink it in winter and think of sunshine.


          1. re: jenn

            My Italian friends make limoncello at home, then label the bottles and present them as gifts at Christmas. I call that artisan and everybody loves the gift but it is still cheap booze. My point was, if you bring back something for the sake of saving money why limoncello. Bring something you like that is really costly here but you can get a great deal on overseas. I brought back a bottle of XO from Amsterdam. I paid 50 euros for it. The bottle here is something like $180 (give or take a couple $) I like eau de vies so that made sense to me. JMO

        3. b
          bob oppedisano

          Limoncello can be found in both very artisanal and industrial versions. Villa Massa or Capri Natura are good bets, and there are many local bottlings around Sorrento/Amalfi. There's no great aura around what is, at base, a delightfully simple drink--just local Sorrento lemon peels, sugar, and alchohol. Read labels to avoid bottles with artificial colors or any bottled outside the region (tho not in itself a guarantee of quality).
          There are other such liquori--from tangerines (mandarini), bergamot (bergamotto), fennel (finocchio), myrtle (mirto)-- throughout southern Italy. Try some.

          As for wine--Naples has many good enoteche where you can sample the wonderful reds (Taurasi, others) and whites (Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo) from the region.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bob oppedisano

            In terms of other liqueurs, an interesting one which is industrial i suspect rather than artisanal but worth a try (and generally unavailable in the UK, dont know about the US) is Cynar, an artichoke (globe not jerusalem) based liqueur with a very bitter aftertaste. Ok with plenty of ice, but worth ordering in a bar just to see the look of a surprise that any non Italian would want to drink the stuff......

            1. re: DarD

              Or better for it!