by Bernard Lahousse
on February 22, 2017

Discover the complexity of Limoncello flavor

One sip of Limoncello di Capri is all it takes to evoke the bright, summery citrus scent of lemons. But there's a lot more to this complex Italian liqueur than just citrus. Follow along as we reveal the hidden secrets behind that special limoncello flavor.

Aroma Analysis: Limoncello

At Foodpairing® we begin each of our studies of various ingredients with a thorough aroma analysis. This information enables us to determine best matches for limoncello based on its aroma profile and the principle that ingredients that share key scents pair well with one another. Read more about the science behind Foodpairing®.

The findings of our molecular analysis of limoncello are visualized in the easy-to-understand aroma wheel. As you can see below, the different aroma molecules have been broken down and sorted by category and are labeled using more general, familiar aromatic descriptors like citrus, floral, green, spicy and woody.

"Take a deeper inhale and you'll notice that in addition to its obvious citrus notes, limoncello also contains green, fatty aromas that are derived from the distillation of citrus peels. See what happens when you pair limoncello with ingredients such as avocados, cucumbers, artichokes and cilantro."

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Limoncello and its ingredient pairings

The five main categories of aromas present in limoncello provide us with links to many other types of ingredients. Its dominant orange, lemon and citrus aromas can be paired with grapefruit, mango, black currant, blueberries, ginger, cinnamon, cheddar and triple sec.

Take a deeper inhale and you'll notice that in addition to its obvious citrus notes, limoncello also contains green, fatty aromas that are derived from the distillation of citrus peels. See what happens when you pair limoncello with ingredients such as avocados, cucumbers, artichokes and cilantro.

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As we delve further into limoncello's complex flavor profile, we find rose and violet-scented floral notes. There are also thyme-scented herbal notes that enable us to pair it with basil, nutmeg, vermouth, chartreuse and absinthe. And let's not forget limoncello's woody pine finish that pairs well with ingredients like apples, carrots, asparagus and, of course, anise seed!

Limoncello Tart cocktail with chamomile

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by Bernard Lahousse
Scientist, food aficionado and Foodpairing® founder Bernard Lahousse applies his scientific approach to food innovation and extends his knowledge to chefs and bartenders all over the world.

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