What is Grappa

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Grappa is a sweet type of brandy that can double the usability of wine grapes by vintners. It also has some amazing benefits.

What is Grappa?

Grappa is an Italian brandy made from pomace, the grapes left over from the wine-making process. Sometimes referred to as ‘firewater’, this powerful form of alcohol has a well-deserved reputation for being strong. However, the alcohol content of this brandy can vary greatly, from 35 to 60 percent. Likewise, the taste and flavor of each batch can vary as much as wine, according to both the type of grape and the distilling process. At its best, grappa can taste sweet, with notes of sharp plums and an edge of honey or warm, rich berries. 

A glass of wine alongside a bunch of grapes

Cheers to life! Photo Credit: Shutterstock

How to Make?

This alcohol is made with all parts of the grapes – skins, seeds, and stems – after they have been pressed to make wine.

Close up of grappa with grapes in the background

Grappa Liquor Recipe

Traditionally grappa was made from the seeds, stalks, and stems of grapes left over from winemaking. It is taken after meals and even added to the morning expresso.  
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Course: Alcohol
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Grappa
Prep Time: 1 hour
Storing Time: 180 days
Total Time: 1 hour
Author: Paromita Datta

Ingredients

  • Grapes

Instructions

  • The grapes are pulverized to make a pulp called pomace.
  • This pomace is then heated, distilled, chilled, stored, and cured for six or more months.
  • Some types of grappa are aged in casks made from oak, acacia or ash wood to deepen the flavor.

Notes

This specialty alcohol is best consumed as a digestif and is a popular warming drink during long winters.

Health Benefits

When taken in moderation, there are a number of potential health benefits of drinking grappa.

  • Alcohol has been shown to reduce short-term stress, calm the body, and elevate your mood.
  • Studies have demonstrated that small quantities of alcohol can have a positive effect on blood vessels and even help regulate the circulatory system.
  • You may also find that a small intake of liquor such as grappa will improve your appetite.

However, large scale clinical trials are required to better understand the benefits and risks of moderate alcohol consumption.

Adverse Risks Associated with Alcohol Consumption: Moderation is key. The risks involved with drinking excessive alcohol can be short term such as violence and injuries to long-term health risks such as chronic diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who should not drink alcohol include women who are pregnant, individuals younger than 21 years of age, and people who are recovering from alcoholism or cannot control the amount they drink. Also, it should be avoided by people who are planning to drive or any other activity that required focus and skill.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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