On 2nd October, in Venice, took place the fifth stage of the #graitour: Italian road show involving 7 American bartenders winners of the Gra’it Challenge, a bartending competition launched by Distilleria Bonollo with Gra’it Grappa as protagonist.
What type of spirit is Gra’it Grappa?
Let’s go back to the beginning of this story.
Gra’it Grappa was conceived to increase the worldwide awareness about the versatility and peculiarity of this traditional Italian product: grappa. Distilleria Bonollo team faced this great challenge and succeeded, giving new life to a strongly locally rooted product by connecting tradition to innovation.
The ability to innovate and to keep up with the new trends of the market always characterized this family owned company, since it seems like they are constantly able to achieve their objectives.
The key factors of Gra’it Grappa:
- uniqueness and perfect balance between its light aromas of fresh and dried fruits;
- incredibly smooth, versatile and flavourful spirit.
The reason behind the seven winners.
Seven are the grape varieties selected by Distillerie Bonollo Umberto and Luca Fabris, CEO and partner of DBU (U.S.A. Bonollo’s U.S. subsidiary), to create the Gra’it Grappa extraordinary blend: Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Moscato, Corvina, Glera, Aglianico and Nero D’Avola.
The Gra’it challenge event, which is the first bartending contest with grappa in the starring role, was a great success as shown by the crowd of more than 10,000 curious who jumped into this experience, by the number of followers and by the social medias generated traffic.
The successful ingredients of the competition.
- 5 of the most fashionable cities and clubs around the USA (Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago);
- 50 selected bartenders who challenged themselves in creating new and original cocktails;
- and of course the Gra’it Grappa as indisputable key-player.
All this, opened the doors for new and innovative mixes, leading to the creation of unique cocktails. Indeed, Gra’it made pillar concept of the challenge the Alchemixology: art of using alchemy in mixology. The challenge Gra’it launched to bartenders was the research of the “perfect cocktail”, a combination of elements with Gra’it Grappa playing a core role. The ultimate request was to discover and recombine commonly used cocktail elements to enhance the grappa flavours and taste.
Let’s discover together how the winners of the contest answered to this quest.
The winner: A Care Affair
The Italian bar lady Giorgia Crea conquered the heart of the jury with her creation called “A Care Affair”, followed by the other six bartenders. The cocktail tastes like love and sensuality, and it is a mixture of:
- Gra’it Grappa,
- Vermouth Cocchi Rosa,
- grape-seed oil,
- rose water.
Silver medal: Essence of the Gra’it Forest
Hector Acevedo proposed the Essence of the Gra’it Forest, made of:
- Gra’it Grappa,
- fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice,
- Garden juice,
- basil syrup,
- Boston bitter,
- egg white.
Third place: Full Circle
Franky Marshall, from Le Boduore New York, with Full Circle, with a combination of:
- Gra’it Grappa,
- Bigallet China-China,
- fresh lemon juice,
- grape pomace cordial.
From 4th to 7th place:
- David Bonatesta of Nomad from New York with Elixir of Life (Gra’it, vermouth Dolin Blanc, Fino Sherry, distillate of pear, fig leaf syrup, white vinegar);
- Meredith Barry of Vol.39 from Chicago with Side by Side (Gra’it, Amaro of Bonollo, cold brew coffee, Génépi Dolin, cognac, cacao cream, citrus syrup and cinnamon);
- Ryan Wainwright of De Ponte from Los Angeles with Grappa Estate (Gra’it, Amaro Of Bonollo, lemon juice, lemon bitter, Elderflower tonic, California lemon honey and bitter);
- William Benedetto of Blind Barber from New York with Il Prete Rosso (Gra’it, Cocchi Americano, vermouth dry, Amaro of Bonollo, champagne vinegar).
And the journey continues!
As a reward, the seven winners have now left the U.S.A to join a road show across Italy as ambassadors of the new brand. They are followed by a troupe of photographers and bloggers that will capture their journey at the discovery of the origin of the italian traditions and lifestyle: cuisine, design, fashion, unique landscapes and of course wine and grappa.
Gra’it, pronounced “great” in English, has already obtained the double gold medal at the Spirits Tasting Competition and now is ready for the Italian market. Moving the role of grappa from a digestive to a cocktail ingredient may sounds a “shame” for real lovers.
Challenging such a strong tradition is hard and very risky, will Gra’it be able to change the grappa stereotypes and grappa lovers’ mind? And are you willingly to taste grappa in this new shape the Alchemixologists discovered?
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