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Aperitivo is a style of bitter liqueur that is relatively low in alcohol (16% by volume), moderately bitter, and moderately sweet. Bordiga’s artisanal version is made entirely in their distillery, with no purchased infusions; the best-known commercial example of the Aperitivo style is Aperol. The predominant flavors of Bordiga’s Aperitivo are aromatic herbs, citrus (mostly bitter orange peel) and rhubarb (Chinese rhubarb root). It is used in a number of classic Italian aperitifs, such as the Spritz (three parts Prosecco, two parts Aperitivo, one part soda water, over ice) or by itself with a splash of soda water.
Gin was first made by Bordiga in 1889, and this gin is made from the original Bordiga recipe. Only four main botanical flavors are used, some from the Occitan* Alps, hence the name. The four are Angelica, Juniper, Cardamom and a secret ingredient (with traces of orange and lemon peel). Occitan Gin has traditionally been made exclusively from juniper that grows wild (not cultivated) in the Maritime Alps, near Cuneo, which are some of the highest mountains in Europe. This combination of altitude and maritime influence enriches the essential oils of the juniper berries grown here, giving them a unique flavor; the berries are picked by hand. The different botanicals are macerated separately in triple-distilled grain alcohol, then distilled before being bottled.
Juniper, traditionally the most important botanical in Gin, has been used for centuries in Piedmont to make non-alcoholic remedies for digestive and other health problems. A distillation of juniper has been made by Bordiga since the founding of the distillery in 1888, and gin as such was sold from the early part of the 20th century, although the word ‘gin’ was banned by the fascists as foreign (even the word ‘vermouth’ had to be italianised as ‘Vermut’). This is not a new marketing effort, in other words.
*‘Occitan’ is a language that originated in the Languedoc region of southwest France, and is still spoken in some of the isolated mountain valleys to the west of Cuneo, on the border with Provence.
This classic vermouth type is based on Piedmontese white wines, including some Moscato, and infused with more than thirty different botanicals, many of them grown in the Occitan Alps near the winery. The flavor of this vermouth is complex and vivid, with an excellent balance of sweetness and bitterness. Some vermouths taste strongly of a single botanical, but the interplay of components here is distinctive and delicious. All of the herbal infusions are done individually and in-house. Add it to your favorite cocktail, but not before you try it on the rocks with a splash of soda. The Bordiga is so delicious and complex that it easily stands alone.
Piedmontese rosso vermouth infused with more than thirty different botanicals including wild gentian and flowers from the Occitan Alps. Lighter in style than many other vermouths, on the nose, orange peel and a touch of cream. The palate is slightly sweet with a light spice.