Cocktails with… Amaro Limoncé (Juniper-flavoured Limoncello)

We’ve reviewed a few products made by the Italian firm, Stock, in the past and I have been impressed by many of them. As such, I was pleased to find out about a variety of Limoncello made by them that also contains herbal flavourings.

Limoncé Amaro is described as a herbal lemon bitter and uses an infusion of more than 30 herbs, including: gentian, juniper, dittamo, angelica, china, cera, thyme and coriander. I’m sure that those of you who are familiar with gin botanicals can see why this product was of such great interest to me.

Limoncé itself is the best-selling commercial brand of Limoncello in Italy; in a country where most people have their own family recipes (not unlike British Sloe Gin), I think that is quite an accolade.

1) Own
Colour: Brown, like iced tea.
Nose: Lemon tea, with hints of juniper, pine, lavender, and a touch of cherry cola.
Taste: Aspects of a herbal remedy accompany a sweet, cherry syrupy-ness. Lemon flavours were followed by an intense, sharp bitterness from the juniper. The bittersweet mix is somewhat reminiscent of a Negroni and, for a single product, the flavour profile is unique.

2) With Tonic
This was a very, very flavourful drink: some menthol comes through, as does some anise and juniper. On the downside, it is a touch on the sweet side and perhaps a little sickly for some. In contrast, the finish is rather bitter.

3) On the Rocks
With a little ice melt and a lower temperature, this is a pleasant way to savour the finer points of the liqueur and the impact of those 30-odd herbs. The citrus of both orange and lemon came through, along with a touch of sweet creaminess, which is followed by an array of herbal flavours including, notably, bitter juniper.

4) White Lady
Although this had the clean crispness of a White Lady, the sweetness from the Limoncello nicely balances out the tart lemon. In addition to these flavours, there was a complex, but not heavy or overbearing, herbal character. Very well balanced and a great way to enjoy the liqueur.

5) Fruit Cup
A simple mix of gin, red vermouth and the limoncé, I think this could easily be enjoyed with either lemonade or ginger ale. It was a particularly good way to enjoy the array of floral, herbal and citrus elements of the liqueur, and created a lovely cooler that could be well-received when served in a pitcher and enjoyed with friends.

6) Negroni
This cocktail had all of the elements of a traditional Negroni, but with an additional, sweeter lemon note; this was well-balanced with the bitter juniper and lavender of the liqueur and the bitter, herbal Campari. Although it might be a bit sweet for some folks, I quite liked it.

7) Alexander
To make this Alexander, I substituted cacao for the Amaro Limoncé, which adds its own bitterness; one that, in a normal Alexander, you would usually associate with chocolate. I can’t quite work out whether I like it or not, but it certainly has its positive points and there’s great potential in mixing the liqueur with cream, just so long as you get the balance right. Mrs. B summed it up well with “herbal ice-cream”.

8) Old Fashioned
This had a fresh, slightly fruity nose, with lots of the whiskey coming through. To taste, however, the Lemoncello Juniper made itself more well-known, with lots of fresh, herbal, Mediterranean notes that transformed this into a fascinating Old Fashioned. Despite this herbal edge, the start was also quite sweet, which faded pleasantly into the sweet woodiness of the bourbon.

9) Collins
A clean and lighter way to enjoy the Amaro, which is quite heavy herbal and a touchy syrupy, without taking away of its character. This could work very nicely as a pre-dinner drink or something to have between courses of a meal.

In Conclusuon
This is an unusual and slightly niche product but for folks that like gin and limoncello or something unusual Amaro Limoncé is worth trying.
My favourite drinks were Fruit Cup, Negroni and Old Fashioned.

For more details on Limoncé Amaro and othe Stock Products check out Pinnacle Drinks

Gin & Tonic Food – Jelly, Sorbet, Cake and Icing Flavoured with Gin & Tonic water

Gin & Tonic Food: a collective term for jelly, cakes, sponges, sorbet etc. that are flavoured with gin or gin & tonic. We write a lot about drink on the site (naturally), but what about some gin-soaked nibbles? Here is a selection of what is out there:*

Gin & Tonic Jelly, made with genuine Plymouth Gin

Gin & Tonic Jelly

Initially, I thought that this tasted just of lemon, but then I got a hint dry juniper and, at the end, I got some tonic water, or rather the fresh bitterness of tonic water. I didn’t notice the alcohol too much, but Mrs. B picked it up more than me. She quite liked it, saying it was “the best alcoholic jelly she had tasted” and that it was well-balanced.

Rather lost of the plate, the gin soaked raisin fairy cake with gin icing. This cake actually has two types of gin in it, rather tasty if not "rustic".

Gin Fairy Cakes

I cheated a bit here, using a pre-mix batter. I added some raisins that I had soaked in gin over night, baked them, and then added the icing, which consisted of a mix of gin and icing sugar with a drop of water.

Well, you can certainly taste the gin, both from the raisins (a rather subtle taste) and from the icing, which is more forthright. Once again, I used Plymouth Gin and I think the whole thing worked rather well. They are rather boozy (much more so than a Glenfiddich Dundee cake I had once) and so I wouldn’t advise eating too many, but one or two at a garden party would be, I think, a nice treat.
I found the flowers on the top rather a distraction, and from the picture it is obvious I haven’t inherited my family’s gift for cake decoration.

A scoop of Gin & Tonic Sorbet

Gin & Tonic Sorbet

Very fresh and crisp; the citrus comes through, but so does the juniper, along with some bitterness from the tonic. The aftertaste is that of a gin & tonic and, like the popular gin drink, is delightfully refreshing. The addition of fresh juniper to part of the process really increases the gin flavour.

Originally destined to be a swiss role this creation eventually ended up as a layered sponge cake.

Gin & Tonic Sponge

This was originally going to be a Swiss roll, but it didn’t quite work out, so I used some of the opera cake details from this recipe.

This is rather heavily gin-soaked and so the sponge almost melts in your mouth. The white chocolate & Earl Grey filling holds it together well, however. It is quite rich and so a small slice would suffice but, with afternoon tea, it would be rather delicious.

In Conclusion

This has been quite an enjoyable article to research and write and I’ve polished up on some of my culinary skills, especially when making sponge/swiss roll.

There is no question which of the Gin & Tonic treats was my favourite: the sorbet. It was certainly something I would try again. I’d also like to experiment a bit more with fruit cake with gin icing.

*N.B. Recipe haven’t been added yet but should be here on Wednesday.

RECIPES