Grappa and Limoncello; Delightful Italian Detours

We all know how cool it is to know just what to order when you’re out on the town and that bartender is sizing you up; we have all been there. Let’s say you have had your Single Malt Scotch devotion. Then single barrel, small batch Bourbons were your weakness for a time. You have Mojito’ed with the best of them and there is not a triple distilled, four column filtered Vodka made that you have not tried in a Cosmopolitan, not to mention the river of Gin that flowed in your martini days. Well maybe its time you try Grappa, an Italian spirit that exudes luxury in a tough but classy style. This spirit has undergone vast improvements in quality over the

Grappa; Photo credit Wikipedia
past decade and now will compete with many Cognacs and Brandies as an after dinner drink. There was a time this spirit was regarded much like the moonshine from the Southern United States of poor quality and rightly so because it was made from the leftover grape pomace. The pomace created now for high quality Grappa contains specific flavor profiles to reach desired results.
One such Grappa is a product from Castello Banfi that I tasted recently. A taste treat this sprit has a presence that exceeded the experience I’ve had with other Grappa. From the notable 9th to the 13th centuries, Poggio alle Mura was the domaine for this product making it one of the highest regarded vineyards in Banfi’s vast collection of properties. Smoky and intense, the Castello Banfi Grappa spreads across the palate in a pleasing manner with just a touch of heat on the finish.

Who knows – your order of Grappa might attract a newly arrived Italian tourist and this next story will be of great interest to you and further the fulfillment of your hosting capabilities.

There is a homemade lemon liqueur originally made on the coast of Amalfi and Capri that has become an Italian tradition. This liqueur has always been associated with symbolizing a cultural acceptance and a bond of trust to whomever it is offered.

Castello Banfi Grappa
Homemade limoncello
Homemade limoncello; Photo credit wikipedia
Traditionally made at home, limoncello liqueur is usually made with lemon peels and pure grain alcohol. I’ve only been offered this libation after gaining an understanding trust with the person who offers. The reason I mention this tradition revolves around the possibility you have met and befriended a group or an individual Italian. Nothing says I care like re-creating experiences from home for our Italian visitors; do not attempt to cook for them unless your are a professional. Your ego will only be deflated and the mere three courses you came up with in two days will pale in comparison to the eight courses they will come up with at a moment’s notice. This is why we come back to the Limoncello idea. You can buy several Limoncello products already made (Villa Marzia Limoncello Limon Liquer) being my personal

favorite and depending on your personal bravado I recommend disclosing the fact that you did not create the libation you and your date are about to consume unless you have the skills to pay the bills. My serving suggestion would be of course an Italian complexity consisting of three steps. Beginning with a spoon of Lemon Sorbet first, then a sip of Villa Mariza Limoncello on crushed ice followed by a Pelligrino Sparkling water with lemon chaser. Now take this knowledge and become the best Eurohost you can become and then convince someone from Kansas this is how it’s done.

Enjoy! Marc Hinton


About the Author:

Marc has held almost every position in the food & wine industry and is committed to Celebrating Hospitality with Pride. In addition to being the co-founder and editor-at-large for Enobytes, Marc is a wine blogger contributor to (Wine Bytes) and writes the Wine Knowledge column in the print magazine About Face. The Contra Costa County Times, San Jose Mercury News, Tacoma Times Tribune and Washington Post have either interviewed or quoted Marc on his viniferous and culinary opinions. Marc has also appeared on Portland's "Vine Time" on News Radio 750 KXL and on California's Central Coast "From the Growing of the Grape to the Glass" on KUHL-AM 1410. He is also the author of A History of Pacific Northwest Cuisine: Mastodons to Molecular Gastronomy. While continuing to tenaciously search for what he may finally proclaim as his favorite wine Marc is relentless in his quest for the ultimate food and wine experience.


  1. Carol March 17, 2008 at 1:09 AM - Reply

    Homemade Limoncello is a fantastic treat! I’ve had a few commercial brands but nothing compares to homemade.

  2. Limoncello March 17, 2008 at 10:50 AM - Reply

    I’m glad to hear you say that! It validates my efforts. I have a whole blog devoted to perfecting homemade limoncello at Check it out if you want to dive deeper on the topic.

Leave A Comment

snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake snowflake