Tasty Toast

Beth Stallings, Columbus Crave
Vanessa's VB Dreamsicle, a cocktail served at Ella, includes Tessora, OYO honey vanilla vodka and cointreau

Lynda and George Vergits figured Tessora Limone--a sort of creamier version of limoncello--would take time to catch on. It's crafted from a 200-year-old secret Italian family recipe passed to Lynda from her mother. And the New Albany couple--both building designers by trade--knew there was nothing like it on the market. After offering a first sip to The Hills Market in winter 2011, they found their first retailer. Soon, store after restaurant eagerly picked up the liquor, which has inspired signature cocktails and chef's desserts. The appeal? A soft lemon flavor with the right amount of sweetness, says Lynda, who still makes every bottle by hand. Put it in the freezer and enjoy it like an adult milkshake, or pour it over ice cream, berries or chocolate. Customers also love the unusual look of the clear bottle, George says. Tessora, which means treasure in Italian, is now used or sold at nearly 500 shops and restaurants around Ohio. Says Lynda: "It really has exceeded our expectations."

Tessora Limone retails for $35 and Tessora Classico (a traditional limocello) is $25. For retailers, visit