You’ve been to Italy, either on vacation or on business and you’ve tried an interesting new drink here – and I’m not talking wine – you even made a note of the name on your iPhone or Blackberry. Maybe you photographed the bottle with your mobile phone camera.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the drink you tried, and liked, was ‘Braulio Riserva‘ bitter.
Once back home, wherever that may be, you hunt high and low for a bottle of Amaro Braulio Riserva. Aside from a couple of online stores which quote scary prices and terrifying delivery charges, you just cannot find Braulio Riserva anywhere. You become somewhat desperate and even resort to leaving a comment on some blog from Italy or other, in the hope that this may help you in your quest. No joy though. You resign yourself to having to wait until the next time you go to Italy, or, you buy a bottle of whisky.
The funny thing is that while certain Italian drinks can be devilishly difficult to find outside Italy, Scotch Whisky, shipped all the way over from the rugged and bleak highlands of Scotland, is to be found in abundance in here.
If the Scottish can sell whisky here in Italy, and, for that matter all over the world, then why oh why can’t Italians sell more of their interesting drinks outside of Italy?
The Scotch situation borders upon ‘selling coals to Newcastle’, in that Italy already has a very passable spirit called Grappa. Between you, me, and the gatepost, I prefer Grappa to Scotch. Now, before any Scottish readers go off in a huff muttering expressions such as ‘ignorant Sassenach’, or worse, under their whisky-soaked breaths, I do like whisky, and I like it rather a lot.
The trouble is the whisky I like costs a bomb, whereas the grappa I like does not. Yes, I wish I were a rich man.
After going through the wood, up the garden path, round the house and back again, the point I’m trying to make is non-Italians, like me, do quite like some very Italian tipples. Aside from the Braulio Riserva scenario which was based on a comment left here on Blog from Italy, there are other examples.
Potentially Popular Italian Drinks
My father, who is over seventy and would admit to not being the world’s greatest whisky fan, quite likes a drop of Grappa from time to time, and he’s happy when he sees a bottle or two on the shelves of his local supermarket all the way up in his northern England neck of the woods.
Other non-Italians, including me, quite like that Italian lemon drink Limoncello, particularly in the summer.
As I mentioned at the start of this post, I’ve even had a person on Blog from Italy trying to track down the super-sophisticated version of an Italian bitter drink Braulio, Braulio Riserva.
I’m pretty sure that liquorice, or licorice, fans would love the lovely Eclisse liquorice liqueur, which I have written about before. Then there is the eggy Floriovo wine, which is quite simply delicious. And there are others too.
Huge Variety of Italian Grappa
Italy’s whisky equivalent, grappa, for instance, comes in many different varieties, or should that be ‘flavours’. Aged Grappa is not at all bad as a winter tipple either. Then there are all the fruit flavoured Grappas, and my personal favourite – honey Grappa.
At the moment I’ve got some Grappa alla Ruta lurking in what passes for my drinks cabinet. The bottle is half empty, which will give you some idea as to how well it goes down, or give you the impression that I am a total alcoholic – snot strue, h-honest.
There are, of course, a few Italian brews which I don’t like too much, but I would never tell anyone else not to try them, because my taste is not necessarily the same as theirs.
Why should I be thinking about this Italian drink stuff? Firstly, Christmas is just round the corner and one starts to ‘think drink’ at this time of year, and secondly, and more importantly, there are lots of Italian drinks I like, and I think others would like them too. They would probably buy them, if they could do so without having to jump on a plane.
Not Many Italian Drinks Sold Abroad
It is a shame that many interesting Italian drinks, other than wine, are not available outside of Italy. This lack of availability may even represent a lost business opportunity for some Italian drinks manufacturers, or even some foreign drinks importers.
Martini, Amaretto and Cinzano are international names. Why not Braulio Riserva? Or Il Mallo Nocino Riserva, for that matter? Il Mallo Nocino what? More on the Mallo another time, but you can always go google ‘nocino’ in the meantime.
What’s your favourite Italian drink?
As I said, honey Grappa is mine, even if my own list of Italian drinks worth trying is not exactly short, hiccups he. I do like Floriovo too.
All these interesting Italian drinks are yet another good reason to come to Italy! Would be nice if you could find them in shops upon your return home, would it not?
Those interested in knowing a little more about Grappa might like the ‘Grappa Diaries‘ blog.
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