The Reason Some People Disagree With Giada De Laurentiis' Limoncello Recipe

Giada De Laurentiis is culinary royalty. The chef, writer, and Food Network star is also a regular contributor on the TODAY show and is currently co-starring in a Discovery+ show with Bobby Flay on a tour of Italy, according to Food Network. De Laurentiis also comes from Hollywood royalty, as she's the granddaughter of film producer Dino De Laurentiis and Italian movie star Silvana Mangano. The celebrity chef was born in Rome and has spent much of her career perfecting Italian dishes and informing fans on everything from how to pronounce penne to how you can hack your classic lasagna recipe (via Food Network).

One of the many ways she's proven her long love affair with Italian cuisine is by showcasing different entrees, desserts, sides, and drinks from various regions of Italy in her books like Everyday Italian and Everyday Pasta. And, although the chef is trying to eat better, she still finds time for pasta and, apparently, limoncello.

Limoncello is the flavor of Southern Italy

Limoncello is a lemon liquor popular in Southern Italy. The liquor was said to have been invented in 1900 in Sorrento, where families would make it from grain alcohol infused with lemon peels and sugar, according to Sorrento Info, limoncello is simple to make, but has a very detailed process. Traditional limoncello rests for up to three months to accrue its deep yellow color and lemony taste. The liquor is usually served after dinner at restaurants throughout the Gulf of Naples, and there are entire shops devoted to the delicious alcoholic beverage throughout Southern Italy (via Sorrento Info). 

Giada De Laurentiis recently posted a recipe for limoncello on her website Giadzy, and the chef also added a simple tutorial on Instagram. The easy recipe calls for peeling ten lemons, then soaking the rinds in vodka for several days. Then she says to add simple syrup to the mixture and allow it to rest for a few hours in the fridge before straining the liquid. The strained liquid can be chilled then enjoyed immediately. Some people, however, think that De Laurentiis' is not authentic enough. 

Is Giada's limoncello authentic?

Comments on the Instagram post chide De Laurentiis for using vodka instead of grain alcohol, with one user noting that only grain alcohol is used in Italy and that vodka "makes a subpar limoncello."

Others claim that letting the lemons soak in the alcohol for four days is simply not enough to make a proper limoncello. Fans on Instagram noted that limoncello should rest for at least 20 days, and can be rested in a dark space for several months to achieve maximum flavor.

La Cucina Italiana seems to agree with the celebrity chef's fans. The recipe suggests adding lemon peels to grain alcohol and letting it rest for 20 to 30 days before adding the sugar. Then, the limoncello should rest for an additional 30 days before straining and drinking.

Though De Laurentiis' recipe seems to have been simplified, it still has its supporters, with people noting on Instagram that they tried the recipe and it came out great. Authentic or not, any recipe that calls for lemons, vodka, and sugar is bound to be delicious and refreshing.