The 30th of April 2013, just to finish the month in the best way ever took place at the Zander Bar a “Luigi Francoli Grappa” Masterclass.

Upon my arrival I met Mr. Alessandro Francoli, President and Master Distiller with Jonathan Lyddon Export Director, and many bartenders and sommeliers.

We all sat around a table surrounded from a fantastic smell of grappa and all his flavour hints.

The atmosphere was just great, all of us tasting and discussing how, when and from who this “gold” has been created.

Mr. Francoli took us in a fantastic journey of the history of his distillery in Lake Maggiore (Piedmont – Italy) from the day he was born inside the venue to the whole evolution till today.

He talk about their process method bringing with him some “vinaccia” in order to let us touch with hand the source of his fantastic products.

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Back in the days the grappa makers used to make very little profit, due to the complex process and just a little product was obtained. At that time they learnt how to recycle and use at the best all the sources they had, and thanks to this tradition nowadays I can proudly say we are one of the few distillery in the world with a very clean industrial process, and self sufficient”

By using post still and patent still and for some product a bit of blending and a lot of passion he can proudly stand in a very good growing and well known market!

We tasted a nice range of grappa and liqueurs from the Luigi Francoli Moscato del Piemonte, L. Francoli Riserva 5 anni, Sorsi di Luce Vespolina e Nebbiolo, Sorsi di luce Moscato e Brachetto Barrique, Ottantotto Barriques Riserva 2004 to a fantastic and unic drop in our tongue of Grappa Nebbiolo full Strength 80.5 % Vol. Unforgettable is as well his Fratello Hazelnut Liqueur and the classic Opal Nera Liqueur!

After so much drinking some lunch has been served, and masterful cocktails were made.

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Recalling the Italian tradition of “Vin Santo and Cantucci” the Barman recommends:

Momo Loco

40 ml El Tesoro Don Felipe Tequila

25 ml Fratello Liqueur

5 Drops of Orange Bitter

Drop of Orange Curacao

All shaken and served on the rocks in an old fashion glass with on the side a nice homemade Tarallucci Biscuit.

I must to admit that Francoli 5 years Grappa works very well with some Dry Vermouth, Orange Curacao Sugar and Chambord.

In order to be able to stand up from our chairs and walk with our hands unfortunately after 3 hours in a great company and fantastic products, came the time to say bye bye… but I am sure this day will remain in our memories and palates for long, long time!

Claudia Carrozzi