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Grappa is one of Italy’s most popular alcoholic drinks, with somewhere in the region of forty million bottles of grappa being produced every year. It’s also a very Italian drink; since 1989 the name has been protected by the EU, meaning that the drink can only be called grappa if it’s sourced and produced in Italy. The main ingredient of grappa is pomace, which consists of the grape skins, seeds and stalks that are left over from the winemaking process.
To make a good grappa, the pomace must be completely fermented and distilled as soon as the wine has been racked off, after only a light pressing. The average alcohol content of the distillate obtained is 75% vol. and before bottling, it is diluted with distilled water to the desired alcohol content. It is then cooled to a temperature of 10 °C and filtered 48 hours later. Grappa Stravecchia has a characteristic amber-gold appearance and is presented in an ornately crafted crystal bottle. Full-bodied, aromatic and subtly elegant; a seriously good spirit with a unique sensory profile, it is distilled in limited amounts. Just like a good scotch or tequila, you don’t need to chill grappa, and you can drink it straight or you can mix it with fruit juices over ice. Alternatively, why not try a hot chocolate mixed with grappa, coffee and chocolate for a pick-me-up; mix two parts grappa, one part chocolate liqueur and top up with espresso coffee. Finish with cream and garnish with grated dark chocolate.
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