Award-winning limoncello company in Ames thrives with Italian family recipe

Dec 25, 2023 1031

BY: Romma Faaborg

An Iowa State chemistry professor who grew up in Italy has turned a family recipe for limoncello into an award-winning business. Sara Pistolesi is co-founder of IA-Native Spirits, which produces Lemoncello 50010 based on her grandmother Maria Pia Murzi’s recipe. That recipe was passed down to her mom, Tiziana Bernotti, and then to Sara herself.

“I grew up watching my grandma making it and then my mom, and eventually I learned how to make it," Pistolesi said. "So when I moved from Italy to the U.S., it’s such a great part of our tradition that it just came naturally for me to make it at home for me and my husband.” Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur. IA-Native Spirits is the only company in Iowa to locally produce the product.

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