If you're Italian, have studied abroad in Italy, or have a ton of Italian friends, chances are you know what grappa is (and that yummy espresso it's paired with). However, if you don't fall into any of these categories, I'm sure you have a lot of questions (don't be ashamed, this isn't exactly common knowledge). Luckily for you, I'm here to fill you in on all the grappa facts you've been missing so you can finally answer the question, "what is grappa?" 

What Is Grappa?

To begin, it's probably best to describe the mysterious grappa. It's a very strong, clear liquor, (similar to moonshine), made from grapes. The drink has an alcohol content anywhere from 30 to 60 percent, so if you're feeling adventurous, grappa (21 years or older) friend and try it out. #AlcoholPuns 

History of Grappa

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The grappa story supposedly began back in ancient Italian days as a drink for the working class men (all that hard work wasn't exactly fun). During this time, grappa wasn't the distilled version we have today, but by the late 1700s, things changed.

A distillery run by Bortolo Nardini in Bassano del Grappa (a super, pretty Italian city), became the birthplace of a modern version of the drink. Now, you're probably thinking that the name for grappa came from the city, but don't be fooled. Grappa got its name in 1951 after the beverage was given denomination. The word originates from "grappapolis," which means "bunch of grapes."  

How Is Grappa Made?

Grape skins and seeds, which is called pomace, are the main ingredients of grappa. Italians did not want to waste the leftover products from wine, so they got creative and decided to distill the pomace. This process begins with boiling water and pomace together to make a vapor, and then cooling that vapor in order to condense it into grappa. The drink is then stored in glass containers and aged for about six months. 

Now that you know the grappa basics, you can confidently impress your friends with this worldly knowledge, or maybe even book a trip to Italy and drink it with the locals. Whatever you choose to do, you're now properly equipped to answer the question "what is grappa?" #cultured