A big bottle of Nardini’s Ruta Grappa – which includes a sprig of rue!
Rue is a bitter herb that provides the flavour for this spirit, and was traditionally used in Italian folk-medicine as a fever suppressant. The grappa is produced by the famous Nardini house.
The bottlings begins with double distilled grappa from the Bassano distillery, which is blended with spirit from Nardini’s high-tech Monastier distillery. To this mix, hand-cut sprigs of rue are added, with the maceration process taking a year – and performed in steel vats.
The Grappa has a light green hue from the rue, and offers notes of astringent herbs, subtle spice, green wood and fresh grapes.
Ruta has many fans in the hospitality business, not least the legendary Dale DeGroff. IT was apparently also a favourite of Aldo Signetti, the head barman of London’s Dukes Hotel.