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Old 09-11-2011, 05:17 AM   #1
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Italian grappa in US and UK

Hi, I wish to write a book about homemade Italian spirits.
Since I'm an Italian living in Spain, I need some support: I wish to know if Italian Grappa is easy to find in US and UK, and where is possible to buy 90 alcohol (grocery store, pharmacy, supermarkets...)

Thank you for your help



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Old 09-11-2011, 01:14 PM   #2
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As far as I know, having bought grapa in both the U.S. & the UK, any decent liquor store has it for sale, and maybe some upscale markets specializing in gourmet items. It's not rare, just not that popular, as it's definitely an acquired taste.
Lately, 'Aperol' has become kinda popular in some areas.

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Old 09-11-2011, 01:45 PM   #3
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Isn't Grappa made from the stems, seeds, and discards of wine making? I have rarely met a spirit I didn't like, but Grappa made the short list. Definitely an acquired taste!
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:53 PM   #4
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I've only had it in the U.S., so it is definitely available. I remember one night when an Italian restaurant owner kept pouring it. No one remembers how they got home (we were all on foot) and the hangovers were something not to be repeated. I had it once again at an Italian friend's house, and had learned to keep it to one.

The flavor actually reminds me of slivovitz, although my husband says I'm crazy. No idea the alcohol content, as I've never bought it and don't think I will.
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:30 PM   #5
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It can be found, but it is not popular. In South America (Peru & Chile) you can find Pisco which is very similar and popular. I think the real reason Peru & Chile went to war was over who could claim the Pisco Sour.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:56 PM   #6
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Some things are funny in an odd way. A friend who had recently visited eastern Europe mentioned that he was sick the entire time. He thought it was because he'd mixed the local red wine with the local distilled beverage (arac or arak). But then he had a drink of slivovitz with my husband, and we looked at him, alarmed. Hives were creeping up all over him. I grabbed his glass and dumped it and grabbed a benedryl. He was fine in a bit, but now he knows that it is local booze that he was actually allergic to. The last time he visited that country, he knew to not drink the local booze, the wine was OK.

My husband once wound up in a hospital from drinking a local distilled beverage in Korea.

Not saying you shouldn't try it; I probably would. But be careful to try a little. Local people who'd probably get deathly ill from a drink of Jack Daniels can down the stuff they make. Ditto in reverse.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:56 AM   #7
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Grappa is available in the UK, my father in law makes a form of grappa called Rakija from grapes in Croatia, you can make 22 litres before you have to pay duty. My relatives in Serbia make Slivovitz, 22ltr for personal use is allowed.
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:59 AM   #8
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several of my neighbors make wine, and then grappa from the leftover mash. it is also readily available in liquor stores, both plain and with fruit (pears, lemons, plums, etc) swimming in it.

my macedonian neighbor makes some mean grappa. the first year he lived next to me, i was fascinated watching him make wine.

a few weeks later, as i was working in my garden one sunday morning, i saw him hauling sheets of copper, tubing, buckets, and a giant fish tank into his garage.

several hours later, he stumbled out of his garage with a small jug, offering me a swig of some clear "viskey" as he called it. nasty stuff. it burned the whole way down. each time...

so i jumped over the fence and went into his garage to take a look at what he built. it was a big, phallic still with a turkey fryer burner underneath, a coil of tubing going through a fishtank full of icewater, and the final product dripping into a bucket with a hydrometer clipped to the side.

at the time, i wasn't sure if making distilled spirits was legal in the u.s., so i told him to close the doors of his garage in case the police drive by. he said in his heavy accent and gesturing with his hands, "no close doors. BOOM!"

fortunately, he had enough air flow with the doors open to prevent "boom", lol.
in nomine patri, et fili, et spiritus sancti.
beidh ar la linn.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:44 AM   #9
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Grappa is quite available in US. Never saw it in a grocery store, however.

It's enjoyable after dinner, imho, but best as flavoring in chocolate truffles!
Wine is the food that completes the meal.
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Old 09-13-2011, 02:23 AM   #10
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Tom mate ask him if he makes travaritza the famous Yugoslavian breakfast tonic.
The white spirit in Macedonian is Rakia if it is 40% Prepecenica if he has double stilled it to 60%+.
Travaritza is herbs placed in a bottle of rakia and left to steep.
My wifes cousin Lubee is married to a beautiful Macedonian woman, I would walk down to their house with Tommo my F in L for breakfast, burek and yogurt to start then Turkish coffee baklava and shots of Travaritza.The world was a better place as we crawled home. Sadly it would not last my M in L Zagorka would blame Tommo, my wife would blame me.We would both sit there looking like this

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