Averna Limoni di Sicilia

December 23, 2008

I discovered limoncello years ago in Italy and have been hooked ever since. But I'd never heard of Limoni di Sicilia, a lemon liqueur made by Averna, an old well-known Italian brand. The kind folks at Averna recently sent me a box of their wonderful libations and I've been sipping Limoni's lovely nectar almost nightly.

At first I thought Limoni was just limoncello rebranded. But, no, there are differences, especially in the distillation. Limoni is distilled from the juice of Sicilian lemons, making it a more pure lemon digestivo. Limoncello, on the other hand, is made from the peels of lemons that are infused in grain alcohol. Limoncello is often a bright lemony yellow, whereas Limoni has a softer paler shade. It's as if the former is the outgoing one at the party, while the latter smiles demurely and speaks with a sultry whisper. Both are sweet, citrusy and delicious over ice. The thing I love about Limoni, however, are its beautiful floral notes and pure, clean lemon flavor.

It goes down a little too easily...



Greg Bulmash's picture

Twenty-six years ago, my father took us on a trip to Europe (Paris, Nice, Venice, Rome, and Athens, then to Netanya and Jerusalem in Israel). In Rome, my dad bought 4 bottles of Averna (the original stuff) and dragged it with us through Greece and two stops in Israel to get it home to the U.S.

Ben's picture

I've never heard of this, great tip. I tried making limoncello with lemon juice once and it was a train wreck. I'm intrigued now...

Bar Man's picture

I too love Limoncello but will now have to try Limoni.

Instead of using lemon juice, try adding lemon zest to a decent vodka and letting it steep for several days. Then add simple syrup (a 50/50 mixture of water and sugar that is boiled until the sugar is completely dissolved) to taste. You may also want to cut it with water to bring down the alcohol level.

Although Limoncello seems to be the most popular, you can do something similar with lime or orange zest or even try combining several.

Keep a couple of bottles in the freezer. These are delicious and deadly when served ice cold.