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A Lovely Limoncello Cocktail

The LLB Cocktail

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Most limoncello (lemon peel-infused liqueur, usually from Italy) is consumed cold as an after-dinner treat rather than in cocktails. Though brands on the American market vary, much of it is low in alcohol and relatively high in sugar (the Pallini brand specified in this recipe is 26 percent alcohol compared with vodka’s 40), making it difficult to mix without making the drink too sweet.

But clever bartenders have ways around that. In this recipe, consultant Philip Duff added bitter tonic water and Angostura bitters to counteract the sweetness. He also kicked up the acidity with fresh lemons that will also balance against the sugar in the limoncello. Smart move.

The flavor profile of this drink is modeled after a bottled soft drink available in Australia and the Caribbean known as the LLB, or Lemon, Lime, and Bitters. Unfortunately I’ve never seen the soda in the States, but you can make this tasty recreation at home.


The LLB (Limoncello, Lemonade, Bitters)
Adapted from a recipe by Philip Duff

2 fl. oz. Pallini Limoncello
1/4 Lemon
Tonic Water
4 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Lemon Peel, for Garnish

Add lemon slices to bottom of Collins glass and muddle. Add ice and liquid ingredients. Stir. Express the oil from a lemon peel over top of the drink.


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  • User avater
    CamperEnglish | 12/15/2011

    Thanks for catching my error! It is supposed to be tonic water. I have corrected the recipe.

  • jedwin61 | 12/14/2011

    In your narrative, you write that Philip Duff added bitter tonic water to cut the sweetness but the recipe calls for soda water. Do you recommend tonic or soda water? Thanks.

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