As summer becomes a distant memory, down on the banks of the Thames, a collaboration between Cantina Del Ponte and Pococello is trying to prolong summer a little longer.
If, like us, your memories of limoncello in the UK are of a warm, sweet drink given out by enthusiastic Italian waiters and drunk with a forced smile, then Pococello is here to change that! Pococello is a limoncello liquor made with only the finest Amalfi lemons and distilled with award-winning Chase vodka. To give us a chance to change our misconceptions, we were invited down to a Pococello masterclass to try our hand at making our own limoncello.
What struck us the most was the sheer size of the lemons! Lemons from the Amalfi coast are absolutely huge and have a more delicate, sweeter taste than the lemons you or I would buy from a supermarket. To make our limoncello, we used the peel of the Amalfi lemons to give fragrance and taste to our vodka. Once the peel has been left in the vodka for about 10 days, it can be removed, sugar added and voila! Homemade limoncello to bring back the taste of Italian summers!
Cantina Del Ponte have created a range of cocktails using Pococello and Fever Tree mixers, such as the Pococello Drop – Pococello, lime cordial, vodka, fresh lemon juice and bitter lemon. And if you’re looking for an easy drink to make at home, try mixing Pococello with tonic water for a light, refreshing cocktail.
As well as the range of cocktails, Cantina Del Ponte have also created a menu of Pococello inspired plates. The Carpaccio di spada affumicato e zucchini al limone (Smoked swordfish carpaccio with courgette and Amalfi lemon dressing to you and me) was to die for! The swordfish was delicately smoked to add, and not obstruct, to the flavour of the swordfish. Sliced finely and topped with the courgette and lemon, we could have eaten it all day!
Chili taglioni with prawns and lemon managed to be light and comforting all at the same time. The taglioni, freshly made in the restaurant every morning, had a subtle hint of chili running through it. While the prawns were big and meaty, just the way we like them!
To finish, we were served a Sicilian cannolo filled with Amalfi lemon cream. The cannolo was crisp, light and set off perfectly by the sharp lemon in the cream filling.
Together, Pococello and Cantina Del Ponte have shown us the ways of limoncello – salute!