For spring and summer, our sparkling wines are deliciously refreshing as an accompaniment to a selection from our deli counter. Prosecco, from the Veneto region of northern Italy around Treviso, is a little less dry than champagne, slightly more bubbly and a lot less pricey, making it ideal for celebrations, a lunchtime tipple or an accompaniment to a sunny afternoon. For something a little different, Mille Bolle d’Oro, an Italian Pinot Nero with delicious aromatic notes and ‘thousand golden bubbles’, is a big hit during the party season and pairs beautifully with fish, white meats and salads.
We’ve selected a range of Italian liqueurs for their versatility; traditional herbal bitters for aperitivos and sweeter, stronger styles for digestifs. For mixologists,
Our aperitivos (derived from the latin ‘aperere’, to open) have an interesting history: Medieval Europeans infused alcohol with medicinal plants to whet the appetite and prepare the stomach for a heavy meal, and today’s versions contain the same herbs – vermouth takes its name from ‘Wermut’, German for wormwood, its key ingredient. Traditionally, aperos are dry or bittersweet, like the Spritz, made with three parts Prosecco and two parts Aperol – perfect for picnics, parties, or an after work pick-me-up. Campari, its stronger and less sweet cousin, is used in the classic Americano and Negroni cocktails, which taste great sipped slowly with a few olives on the side. For those with more delicate palates, the Martini Royale mixes one part Prosecco with one of Martini Bianco, some mint, a wedge of lime and a lot of ice. Drop by and stock up – summer’s coming!
Sweet, often syrupy digestifs bring a meal to a close and are a great opportunity to bring some stunning flavours to the dinner table. Our fruit-based liqueurs include Sardinian Mirto, made from myrtle berries and Limoncello from the Amalfi coast’s specially cultivated lemons. Both are traditionally chilled to enhance an initial sharpness that melts quickly into a warm, smooth sweetness. Go nuts over our Saliza Amaretto Veneziano which unlike other brands, uses refined almonds; or Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, which is also great in a Hazelnut Martini. We’ve chosen Ramazzotti Amaro for its distinctive, bittersweet herbal and citrus taste and natural pedigree – it’s made to a secret recipe that blends 33 herbs, spices and flowers.
Stronger stuff includes Vecchia Romagna brandy, distilled from the Trebbiano grape (the base for the best cognacs) and Grappa Chardonnay, a smoother, floral version of the Italian classic that’s a great match for cheeses and desserts.