Grappa is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in Italy and has a longstanding history in the country. People originally considered it to be a poor man\u2019s drink. The working classes drunk the brandy to increase morale, protect against the cold, and increase energy.\r\n \r\nDistilleries in Italy produce approximately forty million bottles of the brandy each year. In 1989, the European Union declared that the drink could only be called grappa if it was sourced and produced on Italian soil.\r\n \r\nThe History Of Grappa\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\nHistorians believe that the drink has origins in the Middle East. Between the 8th and 12th centuries, invaders settled on the island of Sicily where they shared their distillation knowledge with the Salerno monks, who used the process to distill medicinal herbs.\r\n \r\nWhile the early days of grappa are a mystery, there are clear records of the brandy from the 17th century onwards. Jesuit communities kept accounts of the details of the distillation techniques and recipes.\r\n \r\nBy the 18th century, the drink was especially popular among members of religious orders and farmers. They drank the low-cost liquor for enjoyment and respite while working in the fields.\r\n \r\nThe drink didn\u2019t become commercially popular until the 1960s when the liquor became known for its sophistication. As a matter of fact, it even became the go-to drink at fine dining restaurants.\r\n \r\nNowadays, the Italian brandy is in alcohol cabinets worldwide and is a reputable alcoholic beverage with many different brands and flavours. Grappa has even been included in many cocktail recipes and has developed adoration worldwide.\r\n \r\nTourist Secret\r\nFor a simple cocktail, combine grappa with tonic water and add a slice of citrus fruit such as orange, lemon or lime. The cocktail holds a similar taste to a gin and tonic but with a more intense, crisp flavour.\r\n \r\nHow To Make Grappa\r\n \r\nIt is from the leftovers of the winemaking process with the main ingredient being pomace, which is a mixture of grape skins, pulp, seeds, and stems.\r\n \r\nFor the fermentation process, brewers must ensure that the pomace is fresh and moist.\u00a0 It is possible to use any variety of grapes to produce the drink but better quality grapes result in a finer liquor.\r\n \r\nAfter fermentation, the pomace must be skilfully heated. The still is often placed in a second water-filled container. Makers also steam it to prevent burning. Only the most experienced distillers know the exact moment when the head of the mixture can be separated from the underlying liquid. High-quality grappa should be clear in colour but grappa that has been aged in oak barrels will have a golden tinge.\r\n \r\nGrappa is also available in a range of flavoured blends such as honey, almond, berry and Acqua di Cedro, a grappa liquor made with cedro, a common Italian fruit with a lemony taste.\r\n \r\nHow To Drink Grappa\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\nItalians drink grappa as a digestive aid after meals or drunk as a shot. Also, they add the brandy to espresso, known as caff\u00e8 coretto.\r\n \r\nItalians usually drink it chilled in a tall, thin glass. However, they drink it at room temperature from a brandy bowl if it is aged. Grappa bottles range in size and shape, but good grappa should always come in a clear bottle to show off the liquor.\r\n \r\nGrappa is also a common Italian folk remedy to relieve toothaches, indigestion, rheumatism, and bronchitis.\r\n \r\nTourist Secret\r\nItalians call Grappa \u201chealthy water\u201d as it helps them to relax and digest.\r\n \r\nVarieties\r\nThere are four categories of grappa: young, cask-conditioned, aromatic, and aromatised. While tasting the liquor, you should start with a young grappa and work your way up the categories to an aromatised grappa.\r\n \r\nGrappa tasting always starts with the sample that has the lowest alcohol content and finishes with the strongest. If two grappas have the same alcohol content, the smoother of the two should be consumed first.\r\n \r\nSome people also test grappa by smelling a small amount on the back of the hand to see if it produces a pleasant aroma.\r\n \r\nAfter each tasting experts recommend drinking a small glass of milk to refresh the palette.\r\n \r\nGrappa Museum\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\nThere are two grappa museums located in Italy where you can trace the history of grappa making over the centuries. The Poli family opened the museums. They have been distilling artisan Grappa since 1898.\r\n \r\nPoli Grappa Museum In Bassano del Grappa\r\nThe Poli Grappa Museum is located a short distance from Venice in Bassano del Grappa, the home of Poli grappa. The museum was created by the Poli family to show their appreciation for the drink. Visitors can take a self-guided tour through five rooms that showcase the history of grappa and display grappa related items.\r\n \r\nTasting tours are available for 3 euro per person and visitors will have the opportunity to sample five different types of grappa.\r\n \r\nTourist Secret: Check out these top things to do in Venice on your trip.\r\n \r\nPoli Grappa Museum In Schiavon\r\nThe Poli Grappa Museum in Schiavon sits at the foothills of Veneto and spans out over two floors. Visitors are welcome to come for self-guided tours and can expect to see many interesting items related to the history of grappa and its distillation process along with interesting videos.\r\n \r\nGuided tours of the distillery can be booked for 8 euro per person and visitors will have the opportunity to sample a variety of Poli distillates.\r\n \r\nTourist Secret\r\nOnly 10% or less than 2 million litres of the liquor is exported from Italy each year.\r\n \r\nWhere To Buy It In The US\r\nWhile the Italian brandy was once the drink of the working man, today it is a common sight in most high-end bars and fine wine and spirits stores across the United States, especially in bigger cities.\r\n \r\nThe most common distributor is Clear Creek, which is based in Oregon. They have set out to blend Italian brandy-making techniques with Pacific Northwest fruit to produce a high-quality brandy.\r\n \r\nFinal Thoughts\r\nGrappa is a drink you shouldn't pass up on when you're in Italy. So why not book a flight and plan a trip to Italy today? Let us know about your trip and what grappa tastes like in the comments!