Monday, February 17, 2014

Americano Cocchi Classico

Any fan of the Spritz (here) must try an Americano Cocchi Classico. Here’s how to make one: take a small tumbler and fill it with 3 ice cubes; add 2 ounces of Americano Cocchi, a lovely aperitif wine from Italy’s Piedmonte region; splash in 1 ounce of soda water; gently stir. If you happen to have an orange lying about, slice it up and garnish your drink. If your fruit bowl is sans orange, don’t fret; the drink will taste fine without the garnish.

The star of this amazing aperitivo is Americano Cocchi, a Moscato-based wine infused with a secret blend of herbs, fruit and spices.  The wine tastes both pleasantly bitter and just a bit sweet. Its recipe dates back to 1891 when Giulio Cocchi began making aromatic-infused wine and bottle-fermented sparkling wines. If you poke around the Internet, you’ll come across numerous articles lamenting how difficult it is to find Americano Cocchi here in the United States. Well, no more it seems. Good wine shops such as K&L Wine Merchants will ship Americano Cocchi where the law permits. Even my local Whole Foods claims the aperitivo will soon arrive on its shelves. Hurray!

Let me close by sharing my own (Spritz-ish) variation of the Americano Cocchi Classico. After pouring the Americano Cocchi over the rocks and before adding the soda, I tip in a kiss of Aperol. Gently stir and smile at the beautiful, light salmon-colored beverage that you will soon enjoy.