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Try limoncello for a cool treat on a hot day

Limoncello's sweet lemony flavor is perfect for hot weather.
Limoncello's sweet lemony flavor is perfect for hot weather.
(Photo by Andrzej Gdula, used under CC2.0 license)

As Kansas City weather continues to hover somewhere between ridiculously hot and totally ridiculously hot, the thought it would be nice to be anywhere but here becomes almost overwhelming. So why fight it? Italy sounds nice, doesn't it? But if packing a suitcase and skipping town seems a bit impractical, you can always bring a bit of Italy home, in the shape of a bottle of limoncello.

As you might guess from the name, limoncello is a lemon liqueur. It appears to have originated in southern Italy sometime in the early 1900s, making use of the big sweet lemons grown in and around Sorrento. Credit for its invention is sometimes given to local monks, sometimes to fisherman who are said to have sipped it on chilly mornings, or maybe it belongs to housewives who wanted something special to treat their guests.

No matter who had the idea first, the sweet lemony flavor is crisp & refreshing, making it a natural hot weather choice. Traditionally, limoncello is served chilled, neat, in a chilled cordial glass, but it's also delicious in a variety of cocktails.

If the summer heat has you hankering for something that includes a tall glass of ice, fill a Collins glass with cracked ice, add 1-2 ounces of chilled limencello (to taste), and top off with water, sparkling water, or club soda. For more of a 'hint of lemon' drink, top off your glass with unsweetened iced tea, cola, or cranberry juice. Garnish with a thinly sliced lemon wheel or fresh berries.

The small print disclaimer: The makers of some (but not all) of the products reviewed in Kansas City Cocktails have provided free samples for review. A free product will guarantee that it will get sampled. It does not guarantee a good review. If I say I liked it, I liked it.

If you enjoyed this article by Kansas City Cocktails columnist Angie Rayfield, AKA TheBeerLady, please sign up for a subscription by clicking the SUBSCRIBE button above.


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