What Is Grappa?

by sockii

Grappa is an Italian specialty, often enjoyed after meals, or with a shot of espresso! Learn more about the history of this unique wine-based product.

Grappa is a uniquely Italian alcoholic beverage - and one which can truly be an "acquired taste" for those who have not experienced it before. Grappa has in fact been around since the Middle Ages, and is traditionally produced from pomace: the discarded grape seeds, stalks, and stems that are byproducts of the wine-making process. While that may not sound especially appealing, a fine grappa can make for a wonderfully intense after-dinner drink or digestivo, sipped either on its own or used to fortify an espresso.

Italians have loved grappa for centuries, and today it is becoming more popular around the world as higher quality grappa is produced and exported outside of Italy. Different kinds of grappa can be interesting to taste or collect for their distinctive bottles and labels. You can also use grappa in cooking and different recipes much like wine or brandy. If you are interested in learning more about grappa, or perhaps shopping for grappa bottles, glassware or related merchandise, read on! I have collected some of the best grappa resources on the internet for you to enjoy and explore here.

Do You Enjoy Grappa?

Grappa is a grape-based pomace brandy, made from the residual byproducts of the wine-making process. It is similar to other countries' wine-based spirits such as Spanish orujo and French marc. It is 35%-60% alcohol by volume, therefore it tends to have a strong, sharp taste which may take some time to develop an appreciation for. The flavor will depend on the type - and quality - of the grapes which are used in its production.

As "Grappa" is a protected name in the European Union, to be called such the spirit must be

1. Produced in Italy, in the Italian part of Switzerland, or in San Marino,

2. Made from pomace, and

3. Fermented and distilled from the pomace with no added water.

It is enjoyed by Italians primarily as an after-dinner drink to aid in digestion. It can be served either on its own in a small grappa glass, or mixed in to an espresso for a "corrected coffee" (caffe corretto - my personal favorite way to enjoy grappa!)

Grappa originated from the Italian town of Bassano del Grappa, hence its name. Its rough nature - similar to American grain alcohol - made it for centuries a drink of the poor farmers and workmen who appreciated its potency for getting through cold winter months. It was not until the 1960s that grappa enjoyment began to spread and more care was put into producing finer quality spirits. Generally grappa is a clear, unaged liquid, although today their are producers making an aged-style grappa which can take on an amber or golden hue depending on the aging barrels used. Grappa is often packaged for sale in colorful, unique bottles, and can be found in many wine shops and gift stores throughout Italy.

To learn more about grappa, visit these links below:

  • History of Grappa

    Learn about the history of this uniquely Italian beverage.

  • Grappa

    Wikipedia article on grappa.

  • Great Grappa Cocktails

    Unique recipes and ideas for grappa-based cocktails.

Grappa Videos on YouTube

Learn more about enjoying this spirit

From explanations of its distillation to how to best enjoy the drink, you'll find out more about this unique spirit in these informational videos on YouTube

Cooking with Grappa

Grappa Recipes On-Line

Even if you don't enjoy drinking Grappa on its own, it can be used in many different ways in cooking. Here are just a few recipes to explore, from jams and desserts to main course entrees.

Grappa bottles are often unique, decorative and quite collectible! Search eBay for unique designs for your home.

Grappa bottles on eBay

Great prices on collectible grappa bottles

Poggio Basso Grappa del Piemonte 375ml-Empty Bottle-Cork top

Time left: 5 days, 2 hours
Current bid: $6.99  Place bid
Fixed price: $9.99  Buy It Now

Grappa Stravecchia Riserva Di Lidia Empty

Time left: 1 week
Current bid: $35.00  Place bid

Grappa Berta Roccanivo Invecchiata 2007 Empty

Time left: 2 weeks
Current bid: $39.00  Place bid

1970's Vintage Italian JULIA GRAPPA Special Reserve Empty Glas...

Time left: 3 weeks, 1 day
Current bid: $90.00  Place bid

To properly appreciate grappa, one should use appropriately designed glassware. Search eBay for great deals on authentic, Italian grappa glassware.

Grappa Glassware on eBay

Serve grappa in elegant, appropriate glasses

Italian Grappa Glasses – Set of 6 - 2.75 oz - Home Bar Glasswa...

Time left: 3 days, 22 hours
Current bid: $29.99  Place bid

Stolzle Lausitz Crystal 3 oz Grappa Glasses (4) EUC

Time left: 1 week, 2 days
Current bid: $12.49  Place bid

Monarch LA FLEUR Grappa Wine Glass 6326074

Time left: 1 week, 3 days
Fixed price: $11.99  Buy It Now

4 JC Inn Crystal Grappa Stem Clear10 Ounce Iced Tea/Beverage 6...

Time left: 3 weeks, 3 days
Current bid: $40.00  Place bid

More Beautiful Grappa Glassware on Amazon

Elegant designs perfect for enjoying this liquer
Riedel Vinum Grappa Glasses, Set of 2

These elegant Riedel Vinum Grappa glasses are ideal for sipping a fine liqueur or grappa. Crafted in Europe by world renowned wine glass makers, the glasses are machine-blown of...

$49.50  $43.55

View on Amazon

Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Glass Grappa Stemware, Set of 6

Schott Zwiesel, the famed German producer of The Best Crystal Glassware has been a leader in innovation, style and technology for more than 100 years. The company has many first...

$60.00  $59.95

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Hospitality Glass Brands 440107-024 Enoteca 3.75 oz. Grappa (Pack of 24)

This product is part of Hospitality Brands’ unparalleled offering of tableware products to the hospitality industry. As part of being the exclusive distribution partner of Pasab...

Only $86.37

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Bormioli Rocco Riserva Grappa Glasses, Set of 6

The fine tradition of the Bormioli Rocco Group coincides with the very history of glass: the first glassworks was established in Parma in 1825. The company has always demonstrat...

$28.80  $24.24

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Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Glass Diva Stemware Collection Grappa/Distilled Spirits Cocktail Gl...

Schott Zwiesel Cru Classic Crystal Schott Zwiesel – The world’s best crystal glassBuilt on a 130-year tradition of the finest German glassmaking, Schott Zwiesel is the most dura...

$96.00  $94.35

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Marquis by Waterford 165118 Markham Double Old Fashioned Glasses, Set of 4

Marquis by Waterford Double Old Fashioned Glasses combine traditional-style cutting and quality with Marquis value. Markham DOF Glasses lend an air of sophistication to any even...

$100.00  $31.99

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Is It Grappa Time Now?

Comments welcome below
Updated: 02/02/2017, sockii
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AngelaJohnson on 04/18/2015

I've heard of grappa and knew it was a drink, but nothing more. I learned something new today.

Mira on 04/18/2015

Nice article! I knew about grappa but learned a few things.

ologsinquito on 04/17/2015

I've always wondered what this was. Now I know.

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