Wine, coffee, liqueur and co. – the whole variety of Italian beverages.
Italy’s cuisine and Italian drinks simply belong together. So no matter whether antipasti, Saltimbocca or Tiramisu – the drink must fit. Why it’s not enough in Italy to just offer the obligatory glass of wine, we’ll tell you here. Let me just say one thing: water always plays an important role. Well, salutes then!
The world of Italian drinks at a glance
An extensive Italian menu naturally also includes traditional Italian drinks. Not only do they round off the menu, but the matching liqueur, wine and coffee specialities are the epitome of spirited conviviality and form the setting for an exuberant, cosy or romantic Italian evening. As different as this evening can be, so versatile is Italy’s beverage menu: Besides the traditional drinks of wine and coffee, which always go, nothing runs without liqueurs. Appetizers like Aperol as aperitif and Grappa as digestif are obligatory. Not to be despised is a digestive espresso or cappuccino at the end of the menu or as an alternative to the “liqueur afterwards”.
With all the variety of the stimulants caffeine and alcohol, one drink is often underestimated: water. It is a matter of course with every Italian menu and is usually served in bottles on the table, so that every guest can serve himself whenever he wants. But let’s take a look at the variety of Italian drinks in detail.
Wine – Italy’s elixir of life
Wines make up the largest and most varied part of Italian beverages. And that’s right, because a lot of world-class wines come from Italy. Why this is so, these reasons give you the answer:
Why do many world-class wines come from Italy?
- Due to its north-south extension, Italy has the best climatic conditions for wine growing.
- Around 45 million hectolitres of wine are sold worldwide.
- More than 800,000 ha of vineyards are located on Italian territory.
- Long tradition: Already the Celts and Etruscans cultivated wine in today’s Italy more than 2500 years ago.
- Wine was already a status symbol in the Roman Empire.
- Today Italy cultivates more than 2,000 grape varieties – world class.
- Not only each course of an Italian menu has its own wine, but also different dishes. It is not so easy to always look through them. If you organise an Italian evening, that means for you: If you stick to a certain order and combination of dishes and matching wines, you can certainly compete with the professionals from Italy.
Genrell can be said: white wine with antipasti, white meat, pasta or fish and red wine with dark meat. But exceptions confirm the rule and so it depends on the extent to which one may follow the given “wine laws” – they are rather guidelines that give a good overview of the matching aromas. For dessert, on the other hand, there is coffee or liqueur.
Coffee is always good
In addition to wine, coffee specialities are typical of the Italian way of life. The classics Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato or Caffè americano (typical German bean coffee) may still be familiar to us all. But Italians love their coffee so much that there are a lot of creative additions or variations in Italy. Well, which ones do you know?
- Caffè macchiato nel vetro: Espresso with a dash of milk served in a glass
- Caffè leggermente macchiato con latte freddo: Espresso with very little cold milk
- Espresso Corretto: Espresso corrected with a shot of grappa
- Don’t forget the water: If there is caffeine, there is always a small glass of water (usually tap water) with it. There are several reasons for this:
After every sip of water, you should drink a sip of water that has a neutralizing effect – this should ensure that you enjoy your coffee with every sip.
Especially in Italy coffee is prepared quite strongly, so everyone can “stretch” his coffee enjoyment individually.
The water should make the coffee more digestible for the stomach.
Nevertheless, coffee in moderation (up to four cups a day) is not harmful to health or draws too much water from the body, as is often believed. In these quantities, the body can compensate for possible fluid deficits independently and throughout the day.
Italian Beverages – High Percentage
In addition to coffee and wine, liqueurs describe Italy’s attitude to life very well. Amaretto, Aperol, Campari and Vermouth are among the most popular high-proof Italian drinks. They are usually used to make delicious mixed drinks, with Limoncello or Ramazotti, for example, being drunk naturally pure. Liqueurs are the most popular digestive beverages in Italy.
Non-alcoholic Italian beverages
It is also possible without alcohol: Besides the already mentioned and actually omnipresent water juices and soft drinks are very popular in Italy. Especially sweet lemon or orange lemonades are popular. In addition, iced teas or syrup mix drinks are a non-alcoholic alternative. Alcohol-free aperitifs are herbal or citrus lemonades.
Recommendation for beer lovers
Granted: Italy is not exactly the country of beer drinkers – at least in the classic sense. One thing is certain: Italy has a long tradition of brewing, but to this day there is no purity law, as in Germany, for example, according to which beer is brewed. Rather, the Italian master brewers are experimenting. They use various herbs, fruits or even spices.
Anyone who spurns wine, liqueur and coffee and doesn’t dare to tackle the unconventional types of beer can’t go wrong with a lager beer like the “Birra Dreher”.
Creative recipes for Italian drinks can be found in the recipe section on the next page. Have fun preparing!
The Giulio Ferrari 2006 at the top of the main wine guides
The Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore is once again in agreement with all the great Italian wine guides, who crown him the best Italian sparkling wine in the 2018 editions and rate the vintage with maximum scores.
This year only four wines have achieved outstanding results in all the most prestigious guides, including two from Trentino: the Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore, the San Leonardo 2013 from the Tenuta San Leonardo and the Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore. Bolgheri Sassicaia 2014 by Tenuta San Guido and Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2009 by Bertani also triumphed.
The six guides, who apply comparable assessment standards and unanimously elevated Giulio Ferrari to the throne, are the Guida Vini d’Italia by Gambero Rosso with his Three Glasses, the Guida Oro I Vini by Veronelli, who awarded him the “Super 3 Stars”, Bibenda, who rated him with his 5 grapes, I Grandi Vini by Slow Wine, who awarded him the award “Grande Bottiglia”, Vitae by the Association of Italian Sommeliers with his 4 vines and the Guida Essenziale dei Vini d’Italia by Daniele Cernilli, who rated him with a score of 97/100.
Each vintage of this exceptional label therefore does nothing but confirm its unique qualities, which it owes to the best Chardonnay grapes from the Trentino mountains and the great work in the cellar, where it rests on the yeasts for over ten years. A perfect combination that gives us a Trentodoc of great aromatic complexity, which is at the same time incredibly fresh and makes the “Giulio” a myth.