Aperitivi & Co Experience is the biggest event of the year for those in the bartending industry. It’s organized by Bartender.it and brings together the best Italian distilleries, both big and small, at Lambretto Studios in Milano. In addition to the exhibit, where companies provide samples of their best brandies, grappe, bitters, vermouths and other products, there is a great lecture series featuring giants of the bartending scene including Leonardo Leuci, Agostino Perrone, Luca Cinalli and Dario Comini.
My focus was to try lesser known distilled products from Italy at the fifty or so stands at Aperitivi & Co. Touring around the various stands was also a great chance to meet some of my idols in the Italian beverage scene such as Walter Gosso, Memfi Baracco, Elena Delmagno, Patrizia Bevilacqua, Marco Giuridio, Vanessa Vialardi and many more. A special thanks to Maria Anna for introducing me to everyone!
Here is my list of favorite products from yesterday:
1. Liqueur with porcino mushroom from Calabro – a perfect aperitivo that gives a beautiful aroma and taste of porcini from the La Sila mountain range in Calabria.
2. Girolimino amaro liqueur is a delicious digestif from the secret medieval recipe using herbs and aromatics from Mount Summano (Vicenza)
3. Vermouth del Professore 2015 (storica ricetta con vaniglia). Quaglia and the boys at Jerry Thomas are wizards at making vermouth and their 2015 edition is spectacular, with hints of vanilla.
4. Bernard’s Serpoul elixir is a liqueur characteristic of the Cottion Alps, with a beautiful aroma thanks to cold maceration in water, alcohol and sugar from wild thyme flowers that are picked above 2000 m altitude.
5. Gagliardo radical bitter made by infusion of herbs, roots and spices for 18 days. The final concoction is obtained by hand stirring with bâtonnage method and is absolutely delicious as an aperitif.
6. Nardini Cofanetto Aquavite di Vinaccia Riserva 15 Anni. Thanks to Mauro for letting us try this truly special grappa aged for 15 years.