Grappa is a unique Italian drink. Grappa is traditionally made from the discarded by-products of the wine making process; also known as Pomace. The pomace could include stalks, seeds, pips and skin that has been taken out after the juice of grape is filtered out for wine. Grappa is also known as ‘Firewater’ and the name is apt as it is a strong drink. They are generally consumed post meals and sometimes added to the coffee too.

The history!

Grappa was originally made in Bassano Del Grappa, a town in Italy's northern Veneto region. Grappa gets its name from the name of the town. The drink started as a ‘warmer’ for cold winter days. It was consumed by the farmers who used to work in the vineyards and fields. It remained a drink of the farmers, workers and poor until 1960, when the production of the same was scaled and export began to the other parts of Europe and the world. The oldest grappa distillery in the world is Nardini Grappa and it has been operational since 1779.

Making of Grappa

Grappa is a distilled beverage, made from the skin, seeds, skin and pips that are taken out after the juice is pressed for winemaking. The manufacturing process is similar to the brandies and whiskies. Today's Grappa is about 40 to 45 percent alcohol, however, it was a potent drink when it was initially made to fight the cold temperatures. After distillation, Grappa is usually stored in glass lined vats for about six months before it is bottled and distributed. The flavor profile of Grappa depends on the grape varietal used and generally Grappa is potent and dry. Sometimes grappa are aged in oak casks and take a mild amber color due to the ageing and pigmentation from the casks. Sweetened and herbed varieties are also available in the market, off late.

How to drink a Grappa?

Traditionally, Grappa is mostly served after the meal, either at room temperature or chilled, as the Italians believe that it aids digestion. Correctly, Grappa should be swirled gently in the glass and then brought to your nose, before tasting. It is then tasted in small sips. In Italy, Grappa is also added to espresso to make a "Caffè Corretto," a popular after-dinner concoction. If you've never tried Grappa, you're in for a treat. It's a fiery, but tasty beverage, just the thing for a cold winter's night or a post meal drink. The glass in which Grappa is served is small and sometimes, served even in a sherry copita however, traditionalist still drink it out from a shot glass.

Brands of Grappa

Some of the well known Grappa brands and distilleries are as below

Bertagnolli – Grappa Teroldego

Nardini Aquavite Di Vinaccia Bianca Grappa

Nonino – Grappa Monovitigno di Picolit

Domenis Distillery – Storica Nera

Pojer & Sandri – Grappa di Traminer

It is a drink that I would highly recommend and would definitely have one in my stock of alcohol. How about you give it a try? It is truly an amazing drink.

Gulp Responsibly! Socialize Liberally!!