Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Truth and Beauty- Product Review Averna Limoni
I'm sure the first question most of you are wondering is, "Hey Mayhew, when are you going to finish that bacon eggnog?". Well, patience is a virtue and I promise that I'll have it up by the end of the weekend. Moving on, I came home this evening to find a package waiting for me on my front door. The nice folks who represent Averna sent me a package containing a bottle of Averna amaro, Averna Limoni and Averna Sambuca along with an airline bottle of G'Vine gin. As soon as I saw the Limoni bottle I became instantly suspicious. Here is an Italian company making a lemon liqueur that isn't limoncello? I pulled the bottle out of the package so that it wouldn't contaminate my precious amaro by its very presence. As a general rule, I hate commercial lemon liqueurs. They all fall far short of the limoncello that I make at home, and in no way resemble the limoncello that you get in Italy. I was curious about why a lemon liqueur from Italy (Sicily specifically) wasn't being marketed as limoncello, and I was surprised to find out that instead of lemon peel infused in grain alcohol which is how limoncello is made, Averna Limoni is actually distilled from lemon juice. I decided to try a little bit, just for the sake of research before I banished this bottle to the basement. I took down a rocks glass, added two ice cubes, and poured an ounce of Limoni, swirled it around in the glass, took a whiff and then sipped it. My mind was flooded with memories as I savored the Limoni. The heady smell of lemons in the markets of Italy, summers spent flirting with a sweet girl named Silence, sucking the nectar out of honeysuckle flowers when I was 10, all warm and powerful memories. I've never had any type of beverage bring back memories like this Limoni did, so I just stood in the kitchen for a little bit, stunned. The liqueur is better than any limoncello that I've ever had, it is redolent of lemon blossoms, very floral in addition to its lemon overtones. I went from skeptical to a fan as soon as I had that first sip. I was in love! My mind started racing with possibilities for mixers, until I realized that the perfect complement was still in the box on my dining room table. I opened up the Averna amaro, poured a little in with the Limoni and tasted again. Still too thick to drink but very tasty. A little club soda proved the perfect final addition to a wonderful new creation. My wife commented, "I think its just really drinkable, sweet but its got that earthy component so that its not girly sweet". I call it the Truth and Beauty Cocktail. Just for reference as well, the second picture is the Limoni next to a bottle of my homemade limoncello to highlight the difference in color. The Limoni is more of a solid intense yellow versus the lighter, less opaque yellow of most limoncellos.
Here is the recipe for the Truth and Beauty Cocktail. This is really a fantastic cocktail, and I'd really encourage you to reproduce this at home. Its easy to prepare, well balanced, and delicious.
2oz Averna Limoni Di Sicilia
1/2 oz Averna Amaro
1) In a double rocks glass, add liquors, ice, stir to incorporate and fill with club soda.