Lemon Spritz Recipe from Monterosso al Mare, Italy
Fresh, fragrant, bubbly, beautifully yellow…the perfect ‘aperitivo’!
While travelling in Italy, I met charismatic Mary from Brazil and passionate about local wine Eliseo from Italy. They own Enoteca da Eliseo and make the best cocktails in town. Mary shared with me the recipe of her Lemon Spritz made with locally produced Limoncino. I brought back home a bottle of ‘Limoncino di Monterosso al Mare’ and have been enjoying homemade Lemon Spritz. It’s delicious!
Limoncino – the main ingredient of Lemon Spritz
Monterosso al Mare is famous for its lemon trees that are found all over the place. It is common for people to have lemon trees in their gardens which grow easily due to the sunny climate. Lemons are used in their gastronomy from starters to desserts and even a liqueur.
Every May, Monterosso al Mare hosts a one-day Lemon Festival where locals compete to see who grew the biggest lemon and who makes the nicest lemon statue. Lemon delicacies such as lemon pie and Limoncino can be tasted during the event.
A fragrant and delicious lemon liqueur called ‘Limoncino’ is produced in this region. The same liqueur is known as ‘Limoncello’ in the south of Italy where it is also produced. Limoncino is made with lemons, water, sugar and grain alcohol (90%). It is very fragrant, beautifully yellow and sweet; great to drink as a digestif served chilled on a shot glass. It is also used as an ingredient in desserts and cocktails.
Monterosso al Mare
Monterosso al Mare is located on the north-west coast of Italy, in the Ligurian region and is the biggest of the five towns of Cinque Terre (UNESCO World Heritage Site.) It’s the only village with long sandy beaches. Monterosso al Mare is split in two, Fegina, the modern part of town where the train station is located, and the old part of town with beautiful narrow streets and small squares. A tunnel which caters to the few small cars in the village and to pedestrians links the old part of town and Fegina.
The tunnel that links the old part of Monterosso al Mare and Fegina, the new part of town
Highlights of Monterosso al Mare
- Old churches with beautiful façades,
- Colourful buildings in narrow streets,
- Flowers everywhere,
- Laundry drying under the sun,
- Artisanal gelato shops,
- Pasta and pesto,
Pasta with Pesto – Ristorante da Eraldo
- Fresh fish and seafood,
- Colourful parasols aesthetically placed on the beach,
Private beach in Fegina, Monterosso al Mare
- Crystal clear, refreshing and beautiful blue ocean,
- Wonderful handmade ceramics,
- Vineyards that you can visit and taste wine paired with local delicacies,
Wine tasting in Buranco Vineyard
- Beautiful sunsets,
- Explore it on foot and be camera ready.
Narrow & colourful street in the old part of Monterosso al Mare
Enoteca da Eliseo, located in Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, in the heart of the old part of town, is a wine shop with a beautiful terrace and a wide variety of cocktails on the menu. This is a perfect place to sit down, relax and enjoy a fresh drink while you watch the world go by. Mary from Brazil and Eliseo from Italy are the friendly owners of this wine shop and bar. Mary created a simple yet fresh and delicious cocktail inspired by the well-known Italian ‘aperitivo’ – the spritz. She created the Lemon Spritz and shared the recipe with me.
I use a double measuring cup jigger to calculate the quantities.
¼ (1 oz.) Limoncino
¾ (3 oz.) Prosecco
4-5 Ice cubes
½ Thick slice of lemon
- Fill a wine glass with ice
- Add lemon slice
- Pour Limoncino (may substitute with Limoncello)
- Top up with Prosecco
If you prefer a lighter and more refreshing version, add a generous splash of sparkling water and stir.
Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, Monterosso al Mare
I would love to hear what you think about this recipe. Leave a comment!
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