(n.) An Italian brandy distilled from grape pomace, the skins and seeds leftover from the winemaking process. Grappa is most commonly served as a digestivo, though it also makes an appearance in café corretto, which is a shot of espresso and a shot of grappa that can be served at any time of day.
There are a few competing theories about grappa’s birthplace, but the general consensus seems to be it was created in the Alpine region of Northern Italy as a way to stretch castaway materials. For centuries, production was crude and rustic: wineries would ship pomace to distilleries in return for a few bottles of the final product, which was generally distilled with little care. As such, grappa developed a poor reputation in the international marketplace. Beginning in the 1970s, however, some producers began to experiment to great effect with versions made from single grape varieties, pomace from top vineyards, quality distillation and aging in oak barrels. Notable producers include Nardini, Nonino and Poli.