This amaro limoncello cocktail is easy to make with a wonderful mix of citrus flavors, smokey mezcal and a touch of earthiness. Perfect fireside (or even poolside) sipping!
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In case you haven't noticed, I am a bit of a lemon fan. To be fair, I love most citrus but particularly the tarter forms of lemon, lime and Meyer lemon when it comes to cooking, and the rest of my house is happy to enjoy the results, too.
Lemon curd is always a favorite on toast, and no one would say no to a slice of lemon yogurt cake. A bowl of avgolemono soup is perfect for a cold day, and lemon adds a lovely flavor and freshness to chicken (like my one pot lemon garlic chicken with vegetables) and pork (like my pork meatballs with arugula and lemon).
I love that citrus season peaks in the winter when you are most definitely in need of a burst of brightness and fresh flavor. The extra vitamin C to fight off colds is a good excuse, too.
My only issue, when it comes to drinks (where I also love citrus flavors), is that many are more suited to warmer weather. I'm a big fan of caipirinhas and mojitos, but they more shout sitting in the sun than snow. I've made some more wintery takes, like a pomegranate mojito, but even still.
Citrus drinks for cooler weather
I'm not sure that you'd entirely say this amaro limoncello cocktail is full on winter, but it certainly feels more season-neutral. And, most importantly, it's delicious. I've drawn on the idea of mezcal and averna amaro together from a Food and Wine article, and it definitely works well.
This cocktail has a lovely combination of citrus flavors, a touch of smokiness from the mezcal and a little earthiness too. Hence the name "campfire in lemon groves" as it has that evening-time, fireside sipping feel to it, with plenty of citrus going on too. And hey, I can dream of being in an actual lemon grove.
Actually, side note, I remember bring in Southern Spain with my parents and hearing about the lemon groves disappearing. Lemons were a popular crop in Southern Spain for such along time, but recently many have been dug up.
Many were replaced with avocado trees that both have a higher market value and generally give two crops a year rather than one. I guess it's at least still trees rather than buildings, but sad that old trees were ripped up all the same.
Variations on this amaro limoncello cocktail
Anyway, this cocktail is easy to make as well with just a few ingredients mixed together. You can serve this cocktail in a couple ways, too. You can leave it relatively strong with just the spirits and juice, or you can add a little sparkling water to lighten it up.
A note on limoncello: they can vary greatly in sweetness, and unlike some other spirits, you don't really get bigger brands as it's typically a make-at-home liqueur. In fact, I used my homemade limoncello for this (which I highly recommend trying!).
As a result, the drink's sweetness can vary. I'd suggest adding half the orange juice and everything else, then either add the additional orange if it's more tart, or more lemon instead if it's sweet.
You can also try changing up the citrus juices too - maybe try some Meyer lemon juice and/or grapefruit juice in place of one of the others.
This amaro limoncello cocktail is easy to make, and with a wonderful mix of flavors. Not too sweet, with plenty of fresh citrus, it's a wonderful sundown sipper.
See some other cocktails with citrus:
"Campfire in Lemon Groves" - amaro limoncello cocktail
- 1 oz amaro 30 ml, I used and recommend Averna for this
- 1 oz mezcal 30 ml
- ¾ oz limoncello 22 ml
- ½ oz lemon juice 15 ml
- 1 oz orange juice 30 ml
- 1 oz sparkling water 30 ml (optional - for longer drink only)
- Put all of the ingredients, apart from the sparkling water if using, in a glass with an ice cube. Stir together to mix and to cool. Either leave the ice in the glass or remove. Top up with sparkling water, if using.