About Italian SPIRITS

Any discussion of spirits in Italy must begin with grappa, a powerful product distilled from left over grape skins and seeds that is produced all over the country. While the basic grappas can be rough and fiery, there are a handful of firms, especially in the north, that craft refined, artisanal versions that offer more delicate aromas and subtle flavors. Often packaged in strikingly-designed glass and crystal bottles, many of these dazzling products have now taken their rightful place alongside designer spirits at glamorous bars in London, Paris, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Amaro, a digestif, is a popular liqueur, made everywhere in Italy; each version is produced from a special recipe of herbs and spices. These tend to be dry, with some being slightly bitter.

Finally, two other Italian spirits that have become quite popular in America include Amaretto, a sweet liqueur made from almonds, and Sambuca, a dry spirit made from anise seed.
Top Picks for Italy
Tuscan Peach Flavored Vodka
Clear color. Lively, fruity aromas of peach sorbet and tropical punch with a glycerous, vibrant, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and an effortless, interesting, medium-length dried peach and simple syrup finish. Rich and delicious peach flavor that will stand out in cocktails.
87 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Organic Wheat Vodka
Clear color. Aromas of floral herbs, and anise with a Soft, Dryish Light-to-Medium body and a Tingling wax, and pepper finish. A nice, lightly spicy and herbal vodka.
87 points $19.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Bright clear color. Aromas and flavors of porcelain, chalk, and cream with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, intriguing, medium-long powdered sugared lime zest, hard candy wrapper, pepper, and grape skin finish. A bright, zesty vodka that will excel in citrus based drinks.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab