Marisa Chafetz / Supercall

Entertaining
4 Delicious Cocktails to Make with a Bottle of Limoncello

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Unless you’re living in Italy, you probably aren’t drinking limoncello on the regular—or know all the different ways you could be using the liqueur. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a bottle of the spirit collecting dust in the back of your liquor cabinet. Maybe someone gave it to you as a gift a long time ago, or maybe you bought it on a trip as a souvenir, or maybe you were just drawn to its bright golden hue and couldn’t resist buying a bottle at your local liquor store. Or maybe you even made your own limoncello. Whatever the case, it’s time to grab that bottle and get to work (by drinking it).

For everyone who hasn’t spent a summer living on the Amalfi Coast, limoncello is a liqueur made by steeping finely grated lemon peels in a high-proof spirit (in Italy, most people use grappa) and then adding sugar. You can drink it straight (preferably chilled), or use it to make a variety of bright, citrus-forward cocktails. From lemony effervescent Highballs to a bittersweet Negroni with a zesty backbone, here are four cocktails to make with a bottle of limoncello. With these recipes you can officially drink like an Italian all year round.

Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
Forget the Vodka Soda or the Whisky Soda, this easy-to-make Highball is your new spritzy go-to. While it does call for more than two ingredients, it’s just as easy to make as its tall, bubbly brethren—and it has much more to offer when it comes to pure flavor. It’s made with limoncello, along with orange bitters, which lend the cocktail depth and a tinge of bitterness, and absinthe, which acts as a strong, herbal backbone for the drink and gives it just a touch of an anise flavor (don’t worry, black licorice haters, you’ll like this). This Limoncello Highball is light enough to be a summer aperitif and herbaceous enough to be just as quaffable come fall and winter. Come to think of it, it’s also pretty great in spring. Really, there’s no wrong time to mix one up.

The Essentials

Limoncello
Absinthe
Soda Water
Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
Forget the gin; instead, add some limoncello to your tonic. This tangy, subtly bitter, lemon-luscious cocktail is the quintessential Italian Highball—especially during the warmer months. It comes garnished with a sprig of fresh rosemary for flavor and aromatics, along with a somewhat unexpected Castelvetrano olive. Don’t knock it until you try it; the olive gives the somewhat sweet cocktail a savory edge—and it also makes for a perfect snack. In fact, you should probably make sure you have a bowlful of olives nearby, just in case the one in your glass isn’t enough. And, for that matter, you should also make sure to have extra limoncello and tonic ready to go—because just one of these easy-to-make cocktails certainly won’t be enough.

The Essentials

Limoncello
Tonic Water
Rosemary
Marisa Chafetz / SUpercall
In Italy, limoncello is traditionally served as a digestif to ease your gut after a hefty meal (if you can’t eat more than seven courses, don’t visit Italy). While it’s typically served straight, limoncello also lends itself to cocktails like this bubbly after-dinner drink. Elegantly served in a coupe glass, this limoncello cocktail combines the sunshine-hued liqueur with lemon sorbet and a lively topper of Champagne. With a touch of London Dry gin, the cocktail gets an extra boost of herbaceous depth (and a touch of florality) and some boozy bite. Whether you choose to eat the sorbet with a spoon—like a spiked, effervescent dessert—or let it melt into a lemony, icy slushie is entirely up to you.

The Essentials

Limoncello
Lemon Sorbet
Champagne
Marisa Chafetz / Supercall
By-the-books Negroni lovers will probably cringe at this variation on the classic (our apologies to Fosco Scarselli, the creator of the Negroni who is probably turning over in his grave), but we assure you it’s just as bitter and delectable as the original. Made with vodka instead of gin and limoncello in lieu of sweet vermouth, this lighter twist on the Negroni has a bright burst of citrus. A dash of orange bitters and a bar-spoonful of St-Germain give the cocktail the bittersweet heft it needs to stay true to its roots, along with a nouveau floral edge. Served over crushed ice, the Limoncello Negroni evokes the feeling of sun-drenched days spent drinking in the Mediterranean.

The Essentials

Vodka
Campari
Limoncello

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