The round-up: the best Australian-made limoncello to zest up your next picnic or pool party
We’re calling it now – this will be the summer of limoncello. Long regarded as little more than an after-dinner digestivo, this lemony libation is perfect for summertime sipping, either in a spritz or served over ice with a splash of soda. We’ve rounded up a number of booze makers concocting some of the finest citrus-laced liqueurs on the market, so clear some space on your cocktail cart!
If any brand on this list was a must-have for a pool party, its Zoncello. Adding a citrus-based punch to the portfolio of Italo-inspired Yarra Valley winery Zonzo Estate, this small-batch specialty has been made from 32,000 unwaxed and homegrown lemons – a gargantuan yield that has been put to great use via a legacy recipe passed down through generations of founder Rod Micallef’s family. All of the ingredients that go into Zoncello (sans the sugarcane) have been sourced from the Yarra Valley, with the use of a meticulous, innovative and environmentally-conscious full-circle production method resulting in a sip that is sustainably made. While Zoncello is great when served chilled, the team also suggests pouring it over a scoop of vanilla ice-cream for a zingy twist. If you like your limoncello a little more effervescent, Zoncello has you sorted with its own limoncello spritz. This bubbly beverage sees the golden liqueur mixed with prosecco, capturing the tastes of the Italian Riviera in a bottle and making it the perfect accompaniment to a sunny afternoon spent with friends. Buy here.
Full Circle Spirits, South Australia
You’ll find South Australia well represented in this list. Chalk it up to the state’s abundance of high-quality distilleries or maybe something in the climate that makes it a prime lemon-growing region – either way, we’re not complaining. Full Circle Spirits makes great use of the area’s abundance of juicy organic lemons for its small-batch limoncello. The team hand-picks lemons from around Adelaide Hills before macerating fresh rind in pure grape spirit and adding cane sugar to build a robust flavour profile boasting notes of lemon curd. This drop is available in limited amounts, so be sure to act quickly if you’re interest in adding it to your collection at home this summer. Buy here.
Brisbane’s own LouisB is a great pick if you’re searching for a stellar homegrown limoncello option. Using a traditional recipe honed in Nonna’s kitchen, LouisB’s limoncello instantly transports taste buds to the scenic surrounds of the Amalfi Coast. Though the LouisB limoncello recipe is a closely guarded secret, the team confirms it is made using high-grade Australian-made grain alcohol, filtered water, Queensland sugar and the zest from local lemons. Limoncello isn’t the only drop found in LouisB’s online store – the team also makes a green-hued limecello and an invigorating Italian espresso-infused cafecello. You can get all three flavours in 60-ml, 125-ml, 250-ml, 500-ml and 750-ml bottles. Buy here.
36 Short, South Australia
Homegrown lemons plucked from the family farm form the basis of 36 Short’s sensational limoncello. Handcrafted in Adelaide, this preservative-free option is known to be a real crowd-pleaser – especially served in a spritz or in a dessert like a limoncello tart. Word from those who’ve tried it describe it as Italian summer in a bottle. If that’s what you’re seeking from your limoncello, then look no further. Buy here.
Summer is just around the corner. Are you prepared? We’re not talking about sunscreen, sun-safe hats and proper beach attire – we’re talking about barbecue, picnic and pool party essentials. Solbevi has got you covered on the beverage front. The brainchild of two second-generation Italians, Solbevi’s limoncello is made from a secret family recipe that has been passed down for generations, with the flavours of the Mediterranean flowing from every bottle. Love a spritz? You’ll be jazzed to hear that Solbevi has just launched a range of canned limoncello spritzes boasting a slightly sweet taste and a crisp finish. Buy here.
LIMON, South Australia
Inspired by her love of the Amalfi Coast, Summa McCrackan decided to distill a bit of la dolce vita into LIMON – a limoncello that captures the shining sun and glistening waters of the Italian coast in a stylish bottle. LIMON is made using traditional methods, with Summa sourcing her quality lemons locally from farmers across South Australia and, in turn, sharing the peeled lemons with restaurants in Adelaide in order to minimise wastage. LIMON boasts a quintessentially zesty fragrance and delightfully zingy flavour profile that invigorates the taste buds when enjoyed neat or in a spritz. Buy here.
Earp Distilling Co., New South Wales
With it’s vibrant yellow-hued bottle, Earp Distilling Co.’s Summertime Limoncello certainly looks the part of a must-have sip for any sun-soaked soiree. But how does it stack up in other categories? Well, for a start this preservative-free option boasts less sugar than traditional limoncello, so you’re making a great choice for your body from the jump. Second, stainless-steel extractors draw the colour and the flavour out of fresh hand-picked and hand-peeled local lemons (sourced from a family-run farm in Mangrove Mountain on the Central Coast), resulting in a smooth flavour profile that’ll have you happily going back for another pour. Finally, the Earp team donates spent fruit pulps to a local farms for pig feed, helping lower the amount of wastage from the production process and ensuring your spritz is as guilt-free as possible. Sounds good? You bet it does. Buy here.
Applewood Distillery, South Australia
The crew at esteemed South Australian spirit maker Applewood claims to take its limoncello seriously, and we’re inclined to believe them. Why? Well, first, it’s made using two kinds of lemons plucked from South Australia’s oldest citrus plantation – a 150-year-old orchard located in Montacute Valley in the Adelaide Hills. These precious yellow fruits are then peeled by hand before being worked into a secret recipe that yields Unico Cello – a nectarous yellow-hued liqueur that mixes marvellously with a bit of gin, a splash of prosecco, some soda and a sprig of mint. Buy here.
Honourable mentions: Can’t get enough limoncello in your life? We’ve also heard good things about the liqueurs made by Threefold Distilling in South Australia, Manly Spirits in New South Wales, Banks & Solander Distillery in New South Wales, Original Spirits Co. in Victoria, Bass & Flinders in Victoria, and Tamborine Mountain Distillery in Queensland.
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