It all started in 2011 when my (now) husband Chris and I took at trip to Walt Disney World. We’re both super into food and drinks and he and I aimlessly spent our first real trip together wandering around the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, tasting and sipping our days away. One night, we stopped to kill some time in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion before dinner, and that’s where it happened. Chris went into this little bar/wine spot and emerged with two shot glasses of a neon yellow-looking icy cold beverage. “It’s limoncello”, he said, “you’ll like it” (because I’m known to gravitate toward sweet and citrusy flavors). Well I did, and every year since then, we stop at that spot and now buy 4 shots (2 each!) and sip away as if we’re really in Italy.
A few years ago, we started buying bottles during each trip to bring home with us – we’re “Disney people” and typically go once a year. It was pricey at Epcot, but we had grown to love it so much, that we didn’t want to wait for our next trip to have it again, since we couldn’t find it locally until recently. Well, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, our trip that was scheduled for 2020 has now been rescheduled for 2022, but more importantly, WE RAN OUT OF OUR BELOVED LIMONCELLO! And to make matters worse, (another ‘due to the pandemic’ thing), the local wine shop we’ve been relying on lately has been unable to get it for us. Enter actor/writer/foodie Stanley Tucci…
Stanley Tucci starred in a wonderful documentary series on CNN called Searching for Italy. If you haven’t seen it, here’s a link to watch on Apple TV. If you don’t have Apple TV, I’m pretty sure you can find it through your cable’s On Demand feature on CNN.
In each episode, Stanley brought you to different regions – from the tiniest of towns to the sprawling cities, focusing on the food and history of each area. One that caught our eye was the episode featuring the Amalfi Coast. During that episode, he visited a limoncello producer that we literally paused and rewound and watched over and over to try and see the label on the bottle. We finally got it and started Googling. We came up with La Valle dei Mulini, an iconic brand from Italy that identifies the products of the historic Aceto Family, five generations of PGI Amalfi Coast Lemon farmers. Since 1825 they have preserved this passion keeping intact the craftsmanship handed down over time and using only the organic-certified lemons that they grow, harvest and select on their own. From producer to consumer, their products are authentic Amalfi.
We ordered a few bottles (how bad could it be, am I right?), and got our order confirmation. We were definitely a little nervous about ordering from outside the country, but we gave it a shot and waited for a tracking number. We checked email almost every day (impatient much??), and didn’t see one, but were happily surprised a couple of short weeks later to find a box at our door FROM ITALY!
We unwrapped and immediately put a bottle in the freezer to chill it up. The colder it gets, the more syrupy it becomes and it goes down smooth! There is definitely a different taste compared to what we’ve become used to – this is just the right amount of sweet and tart with bright citrus flavor, which I imagine can only happen if you get the good stuff direct from the source. So everyone, say a quick prayer for my husband, who will now be ordering limoncello from Italy a few times a year 😂
Next stop, making a plan to take that trip to Italy to drink this under the lemon trees! I found the perfect spot…