Mild breeze. Outdoor cafe. Good pizza. Pleasant conversation with the restaurant's owner. Just another evening in Sorrento.
Except, when we ordered our after dinner espresso, the owner brought us the gift of two small ice cold glasses of a homemade liqueur he called limoncello.
It was our third trip to Italy, but our first to venture south of Rome. That is my excuse for never having heard of or tasted the stuff.
Here I sit -- more than 10 years later. And I'm a full fledged bootlegger.
I came home that summer and immediately began researching ways I might produce this liquid sunshine for myself. I found the web site of a liqueur maker who was to become my guru! Gunther Anderson -- http://www.guntheranderson.com
I read and experimented with his recipes. Then sent him my version of Limoncello. He was gracious enough to add it to his collection!
So far, I've made over 40 types of liqueur. My favorites:
Limoncello - of course
Lime (just like limoncello only made with limes)
Rose (made with Sadaf rose syrup)
Jasmine & Green Tea (made with organic jasmine scented green tea)
Tokyo Rose (made with crystalized ginger and just the slightest dash of rose syrup to give it that pickled ginger color)
Witches' Brew (my version of Strega)
And, believe it or not, SASSAFRAS. (I use glycerin to thicken so that I can cut back on the sugar syrup. Otherwise it would be way too sweet)