Horticulture meets history in the humble lemon. From the foothills of the Himalayas to Iran to Italy’s shores, the citrus fruit has traveled far and wide — an aromatic trail in its wake.
And the bounty is plentiful. Images of the pucker-inducing fruit appear all over Italy in paintings, ceramics, wallpapers, and linens. Painted lemons hover in the trees above the three Graces of Botticelli’s Primavera. And, of course, the limone makes a cameo at the table, in everything from granita to limoncello to marscapone to pasta.
There’s the incredibly valuable bergamot citrus of Sicily, the bitter-fruit chinotto of Genoa, potted trees under cover in Tuscan lemon gardens, and here, on the Amalfi Coast, the show-stopping sfusato, extremely large, pale, tapered lemons filled with juice and pulp.
After a summer excursion to the beach, during that magical hour when it’s not quite yet day or evening, there’s nothing more refreshing than a bright and tart mojito, muddled with mint, fragrant with fresh lemon.
Using lemons grown on and around Casa Angelina’s grounds, a housemade liqueur is procured, and the limoncello is used to brighten up the muddled minty-ness of the mojito. Even if one can’t be enjoyed on Casa Angelina’s cliffside patio overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, the hotel encourages guests to have a little taste of Praiano at home. It’s the taste of the promise of summer. At least until the last sip.
Limonce’ Mojito | Serves 1
2CL – Limoncello Liqueur “Costa D’Amalfi” or a Limoncello of your choice
1CL – Gin (Gin Mare preffered)
½ pounded lemon slices – typical sfusato Amalfitano Lemon
Tonic water (Fever Tree preferred) to fill up the glass
1 tsp. brown sugar
sprig fresh mint leaves and rosemary (for decoration)
- In a heavy-bottomed tumbler, crush a handful of mint with brown sugar and the ½ lemon slices. Fill with ice.
- Pour in Limoncello and gin. Stir.
- Top with tonic water
Garnish glass with a small sprig of mint. Salut!