Grappa vs. Limoncello

Somebody once said, "There are two groups of people in the world: those who believe that the world can be divided into two groups of people, and those who don't."

And then, of course, there's the Italian proverb, "Two Italians, three opinions!"

You'll always find Italians splitting themselves up in all kinds of interesting ways. Just wait until we get near the holidays, for example... then there's the great national Pandoro vs. Panettone Christmas Cake divide!

But during the rest of the year, you can count on that of the digestivo, or the alcoholic beverage that's supposed to help you digest the massive Italian meal you've just consumed.

In the North of Italy, the after-dinner drink of choice is grappa, a potent little elixir actually made from the fermented and distilled remnants of the wine-making process, like grapeskins and vines.

In Southern Italy, limoncello's the choice... It's a liqueur infused with lemons, which can grow to be nearly as big as your head on the gorgeous Amalfi Coast south of Naples!

Now, between the two, I admit that limoncello sounds hands-down the most appetizing. I unfortunately have always found it to taste a little too much like lemony cough-syrup. But then again, I've hung out primarily in the North, where some hardy souls even drink grappa in their morning coffee (nicknamed, interestingly, a "corrected coffee" in most of Italy, or ironically enough, particularly in Venice, a "fog-cutter"!)

What can I say? While I can't even look at the stuff before, say, about 10 o'clock at night, it's what I'm used to. And like anything else, the cheap stuff's rot gut... but the good stuff's smooth as quicksilver, and just slightly less deadly! :-)

Considering that it'd probably violate a few dozen federal laws, I won't pass along any recipes for grappa here. But I did run across
a recipe for Limoncello today. I have no idea how tasty the recipe is, but--lemme tell you--as a cough remedy, it oughta put Nyquil to shame!!

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