Grappa may be as strong as the devil himself but there’s an art to drinking it. For one thing, drink with discernment – being 40–45% alcohol, you’ll be in a gutter before the night’s out if you treat this like a regular house spirit. Instead, choose wisely and drink slowly – this is a digestivi (a drink taken after a meal to aid in digestion and settle the stomach after a big meal and is meant to be almost medicinal) not a shooter.
Many people will drink a finger of grappa in a shot of coffee known as cafe corretto (corrected coffee) with a biscotti (twice baked almond biscuit). Distilleries have recently taken more time and effort with their packaging and many of the bottles look a lot better than they taste.
Distilling grappa is an expensive and lengthy process and most people concentrate on making small batches. Basically, it’s made by distilling the bits of grape skin, vine and old fruit from the wine making process – it’s vine to seed drinking, really. Some are wrapped up in beautifully printed paper and others just have stylish stickers or their own little accessories hanging off the neck of the bottles.
You hear of old Italian guys in Five Dock making it out in their backyard sheds but the first time you try it you might want look into some of the more reputable grappa makers like Nonino, Jacapo Poli and Nardini, lest you go blind by accident (yes, really). Nonino also does a chestnut honey grappa, which is much more mild and drinker friendly than some of the others.
There are a few restaurants around town to drink it but for the biggest range, you can’t look past Grappa in Leichhardt.
Unit 1, 267–277 Norton St
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