It might be the end of summer (well it rains a fair bit where I live so I think that’s the last I’ll see of it), but that doesn’t mean summer trends should finish there. The good thing about a good spirit is its versatility to be present no matter what the seasons. Take Sprizzato for example. One look at the bottle and you could think of a rival name. Understandable, virtually the same colour, and it does market itself towards a summer time party feel. But Sprizzato offers what every liqueur should offer.
I should take a step back here and give you an idea of what Sprizzato actually is.
Sprizzato is an Italian blend of sweet oranges from Sicily and bitter citrus fruit from Curaçao. The Priante family have for the past five generations been involved in the restaurant and wine trades in the Veneto region of Italy. Michele Priante used to think of his grandfather drinking a favourite bitter orange liqueur of his, and to salute his memory, looked into the family recipes to see if he could re-create it. He brought on board a master distiller from Padua, the same place where the liqueur has its origins, as well as bringing Gary Halkyard to the family. Gary is a connoisseur of Italy, and made perfect sense to be the for-runner for the British market in November 2012.
The recipe that Michele found in the family archives involved not only the use of the oranges and bitter citrus fruit, but also natural herbs and roots such as gentian and anise. These ingredients from the Italian mountains are added during the distillation process, but once finished, rhubarb from Asia is infused into the spirit.
So how does Sprizzato fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Sprizzato – 11%
Light and fresh on the nose with subtle aromas of orange and citrus. Again light on the palate, with a thin texture. Flavours of orange and rhubarb blend well, with a well-balanced finish of sweet and bitter. An aromatic ending, and a little dry.
Sprizzato recommend to try their spirit served cold with soda water, ice and a slice of fresh orange. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t have it like this * –
30 ml Gin
30 ml Sprizzato
15 ml Lemon juice
Dash of simple syrup
2 dashes Fee’s orange bitters
1 egg white
Place all ingredients in a Boston shaker, add ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
* Recipe courtesy of Fleur McGerr
Sprizzato might have only been out less than a year, but with numerous press picking it up and comparing it to the big boys of the Italian market, it makes you wonder if you’ve stumbled upon a gem. A gem I might add, that can be utilised all year round. Give it a go for your own drinks cabinet.
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