Italian culinary traditions are among the most beloved and renowned in the world. While wine may be the main source of pride for Italian drinking culture, their culinary ingenuity uses wine residuals to create a delicious wine-based spirit called grappa.
Grappa is thus a form of brandy produced only in Italy. It has a spicy, fiery, and alcohol-forward taste. While Italians sip grappa as an after-dinner drink, it also tastes wonderful in mixed drinks. Below, I’ve listed a variety of grappa cocktails for you to try.
A novel twist on a classic, this Grappa Fashioned cocktail swaps whiskey for aged grappa and vermouth for Marsala wine. Notably, aged grappa is much smoother and more complex than the traditional unaged, clear grappa.
In addition, these ingredients offer the same flavor profile as the traditional Old Fashioned duo. Moreover, the angostura bitters and black tea create an extra dry finish.
This utterly refreshing lemon, mint, and cucumber grappa cocktail make a pitcher’s worth of aromatic, tart, and bright green drinks. It requires you to make lemon mint and cucumber ice cubes by blending the ingredients with a bit of water and freezing it in ice trays.
Grappa is a fiery and spicy brandy that tastes like tequila, so there’s no better substitute to use in an Italian twist on the Mexican margarita than grappa. This Grapparita takes the Italian twist a step further by substituting lime juice with the delicious Italian lemon liqueur called Limoncello.
The piece de resistance is egg white to add a frothy head.
The Gimlet is a classic gin and lime cordial cocktail. This recipe adds grappa to the mix. The rose-infused lime juice and gin create an almost medicinal flavor, but the addition of grappa sweetens things up and packs a fiery finish.
This is a sophisticated cocktail that will impress any gin lover.
A Paper Plane cocktail is one of the classic cocktails invented at the turn of the 20th century consisting of Amaro, Aperol, lemon juice, and bourbon. Bourbon is a smokey, complex spirit that adds depth to this tart, bitter mixed drink.
You can use aged grappa instead of or in addition to bourbon for a richer, slightly sweeter twist on a classic.
Chamomile has a distinct floral flavor that we usually associate with a hot cup of tea before bed. This comforting cocktail uses chamomile-infused grappa and wildflower honey mixed with a bit of lemon juice for an elegant, floral flavor.
To add aesthetic and texture, you stir in egg white to create a top layer of foam.
A Grappa-inspired take on the classic gin drink, Tom Collins, Luli Collins changes gin for a combination of Luli Moscato and Grappa. The sweet Moscato and alcohol-forward grappa blend with lemon cordial and orange bitters for a deliciously crisp bitter citrus cocktail.
The lemon cordial adds much-needed sweetness to balance the bitters.
Grappa encompasses a diverse range of pomace spirits, each with a unique flavor and fiery finish. My diverse list of grappa cocktails displays the versatility of the spirit.
I’d love to hear what you thought of my list in the comments section below.
I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.
In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.