Grappling Grappas


It’s lethal.

It’s Italian.

It’s not one of the characters from The Godfather.

It’s… Grappa.

grappa blog

The other thing that pops up in my head when “Italian” and “lethal” get put together in a sentence

I honestly don’t feel like there’s enough material on this drink for us Pinoys to figure it out, so I decided to share what I know about it.

Grappa is a distilled spirit (the same classification as gin, whiskey/whisky, vodka, etc) native to Italy. It’s made out of distilled pomace (the solid remnants of grapes, olives, or other fruit after it was pressed for juice or oil).

Pomace sounds fancy, but to give you an idea about other uses for it, pomace is commonly used as livestock feed, or fertilizer.

Grappa is traditionally consumed from a shot glass after dinner as a digestivo (Italian term for a post-dinner beverage that aids in digestion). Some people put it in a port glass; some people mix it in a cup of espresso (called caffè corretto or “correct coffee”)…

I smell dehydration.


Anyway, I never write about stuff I don’t drink (yes folks, my liver is always made available for “research”), so I decided to buy one from Epicurious.

Armed with a shot glass and a prayer (it’s 38% alcohol), I slowly sipped about a quarter of a jigger of the stuff.

It smells earthy, a little closer to olives, and the taste made me think of having prunes in an antique wooden closet. There was an element of sharp spices too, like hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.

One of these days, I will make bistecca and pomodoro at home, and then serve grappa as a proper after-dinner beverage. Hmmmm…

Taster’s note: I suggest putting a little water in spirits to be objective (and academic) about tasting. This kills that strong alcohol smell (which would overpower the nuances), and allows the fruits, spices, and other different characteristics to come out. This tasting method can be done with any spirit. Of course, drinking them for the sole purpose of enjoyment is entirely up to the drinker (on the rocks, neat, with soda water, etc).

Are you willing to give grappa a try? Saluti!

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