There is no question about it when you step outside, summer has arrived in Texas, and the 100-degree days are here to stay. When the mercury starts to rise, Austinites love nothing more than to sit by the pool or the lake with an ice-cold cocktail. Limoncello, which traditionally is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, is the perfect, refreshing, bright drink to make the Texas heat more bearable.
Here in Austin, Intero, known for its farm-to-table seasonal Italian cuisine, is also known for its house-made Limoncello. Intero bartender, Ian Simpson, has perfected the Limoncello, and he is now sharing the recipe to make at home.
How To Make Limoncello?
- 1-liter premium vodka
- Peels from 15 lemons (use Meyer if in season for an even more flavorful limoncello)
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 cups water
Combine lemon peels and vodka in a jar and infuse for ONE MONTH at room temperature. Then, strain the mix, and add water & sugar, stirring until everything is combined. Tip: lightly heat to dissolve sugar if needed, stirring constantly.
Once you have your Limoncello made, you can drink it chilled or over ice. In Italy, Limoncellos are traditionally consumed as an after-dinner digestivo.
Ian recommends taking it one step further and using the Limoncello to make cocktails. His favorite part of bartending is the freedom to create. Ian sees Limoncello as a very traditional drink, but you can play to find a version that matches your palate as with all liquors.
Here is a cocktail that Ian created:
- Mix 2 parts Limoncello with 1 part grapefruit juice.
- Pour over ice in a glass of choice and top it off with soda water.
- Enjoy, and pretend you are sipping this cocktail on a patio in Positano overlooking the Amalfi coast!
Just as in Italy where the food is genuine and locally sourced, you’ll find the same at Intero with farm-to-table Italian cuisine. At its core, the concept behind Italian cooking stems from necessity and gratitude for regionally available ingredients. Translating to “whole’’ in Italian, Intero embraces this ideology by utilizing whole local ingredients from their entirety, paired with traditional Italian techniques and cooking sensibilities. This naturally sustainable approach allows for innovative, yet familiar dishes that highlight the seasonal availability of what’s grown and raised in Texas.
On the sweeter side, Italy was fundamental in the development of chocolate as we appreciate it today. Providing an authentic nod to this rich history, Intero specializes in offering house-made, handcrafted artisan chocolates (including truffles, barks, and sipping chocolate) along with other traditional Italian desserts in classic, seasonal and unique flavors.
MEET THE CHEFS & CO-OWNERS
KRYSTAL CRAIG & IAN THURWACHTER
Born and raised in Austin, husband & wife duo, Chef Ian Thurwachter & Chocolatier/Pastry Chef Krystal Craig sought to share their love of Italian cuisine with their combined knowledge of savory and sweet. Both self-taught in their professions, each attributes the inspiration of their work to influences they had growing up. Bringing together over 35 years of collective experience in the food and restaurant industry, along with the talents of many friends and family, the couple opened Intero together in 2018 focused on farm-to-table, sustainable practices.
Join them for indoor and outdoor dining, or takeout Wednesday-Sunday. Intero offers a great happy hour Wednesday and Thursday from 5-6:30 pm. Make your reservation today!