A-Z Spirits and Liqueurs: G is for Grappa

Now, it would have been easy for me to say G is for Gin, but we already have a little obsession with gin and frequently post about different flavoured gins that pop up around the place, so I’ve gone for something different!

What is it? Grappa is a Northern Italian grape-based brandy, traditionally made from pomace – the stalks and seeds which are a by-product of the normal winemaking process.  Its firey, at 40-60% abv, but has been developed to become tastier than the original product, which was made around 15th century to warm up the farmers and peasants who were out in the cool Italian winters.

How can I enjoy it? Serve as a slightly chilled shot after a meal, sipping slowly from a tulip shaped glass, or in a ‘caffe corretto’, ‘corrected coffee’, by adding to a shot of esspresso for true Italian sophistication. Like many spirits, it can also be used in a number of cocktails, but I think this one is unique, and best served on its own.

I want it! Where can I get it? Like wine, there are a number of different producers making Grappa, even as far as Australia. For a little bit of Italy at your next dinner party, serve Nardini Bianco Grappa – Italy’s best selling premium Grappa, which is well balanced with notes of jasmine tea and honey. At 50%, its fiesty, but take your time and sip slow – it is also thought to aid digestion. You can pick up a 70cl for £34.99 from online retailer The Drink Shop.  For pretty Grappa serving glasses, you can’t go past this bargain on Amazon. At £14.99 for six 90ml glasses, they are not just for Grappa, but could also be used for other fruit brandies and maybe even Limoncello…..L is for…. !

Actually factual: Although Grappa can only be labelled so if sourced and produced in Italy, the French equivalent is Marc – such as Champagne can only be labelled Champagne if it is from that region.  Much Grappa production is packaged in fancy bottles to enitce buyers (namely tourists) but producers insist it is not to mask the frightfully potent blend which it contains! I’m game if you are… !

Pretty Grappa bottles picture taken from Paul and Jill’s photostream on flickr.

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