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Cream Cocktails: Fancy Grappka Lemonade


Turning lemons into lemonade the Italian way, by distilling grape pomace into an even boozier digestif. When it comes to alcohol, Grappa is just about as zero waste as you can get. During the winemaking process, grape juice is pressed out and fermented, leaving behind skins, pulp, seeds and stems. While many consider this pomace to be waste, legend has it that a particularly thrifty Roman soldier discovered that these leftover grape remnants were in fact packed with flavor and aromatics, and could be boiled, distilled and extracted for alcohol.

This recycled grape must elixir is now a protected name under European law, and is widely produced and consumed across Italy. Typically ranging from 35-60% ABV, the potent and boozy Grappa is frequently served as a digestif or mixed straight into coffee, called a caffè corretto or “corrected coffee.” Although it got a bad rep in the past as Italy’s moonshine, in recent years, Grappa has become more popular in American bars and restaurants, where it has been recognized for it’s great potential in cocktails.

Grappa is coming up on it’s moment here in the states, and Ransom Wines & Spirits has some of the best home grown stuff you can find. Ransom’s Tad Seestedt released his first Grappa in 1997, and has been making it in limited production ever since. Based in the Willamette Valley, Ransom’s Grappa is carefully crafted to an unparalleled standard of quality. Aromatic white varieties are harvested at optimum ripeness and lightly pressed. The free-run juice becomes wine while the pomace, which still holds a high percentage of juice, is used for the grappa. The pomace is covered with water, lightly pressed and distilled in alambic copper stills. The resulting Grappa is an elegant, effusive expression of both the varietal character of the grapes and the time-honored traditions of fermentation and alembic distillation. An ethereal, inviting nose showcases elderflower, heirloom pear, and tea rose. Hints of stone fruit and cassia show on a long, elegant finish. Drink neat, pour into your coffee, or add to your bar as your new favorite mixer.

Fancy Grappka Lemonade

1oz Valentine Vodka
1oz Ransom Wines & Spirits Grappa
.75oz Lemon Oleo Sacchrum
Check out Difford’s Guide for the ultimate Lemon Oleo recipe
.25 Lemon Juice

Shake, strain over Ice in Collins glass.

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