Nardini Elixir China (1000ml)
The original Nardini Distillery was established in 1779 near the head of the bridge in Bassano del Grappa in the Veneto region. This location was chosen for its ample water supply which is essential for distilling and also its easy distribution through the series of rivers and canals. Over the years, the distillery has witnessed several battles, the collapse of the Venetian Empire, and the Unification of Italy. Yet through all this change, Nardini has remained a family business now boasting its 7th generation leading the business forward.
This original location is now predominantly a tasting room and historical sight but Nardini’s main production is split between their continuous still operation in Monastier and their batch still operation in Bassano del Grappa. Throughout their product range the unifying theme for all Nardini products is quality and balance embodied by the motto inscribed above the original distillery:
“Chi alla vita tiene, beve giusto e beve bene” which means “He who values life, drinks well and drinks right.”
Nardini Elixir China is a brilliant clear bronze hue in the glass. The nose is full of clove-spiked oranges, caramel, and cinnamon spiciness. The palate is a combination of bitter coffee, spiced orange peels, wildflowers, and the same cinnamon and clove aromatics we saw on the nose. The finish is long and silky walking the line between bitter and sweet perfectly with no rough edges.
Like most Nardini amari, the Elixir China is versatile. It’s fantastic to sip on its own as a digestif or used to amp up a spritz in the summertime. Try adding some to a spicy rye for an excellent manhattan variation.
Nardini uses a combination of distillation methods to create their grappas (a blend of continuously distilled and batch distilled spirits) but this amaro is made entirely at the Bassano del Grappa facility and is all batch distilled. The base for this amaro is all grain and it is batch distilled in smaller stills to promote a fuller-bodied texture. The main botanicals are cinchona calisaya bark, condurango bark, bitter orange peel, mace, coriander, cinnamon and cloves. Once distilled the amaro is subtley sweetened with toasted sugar and bottled at 34% alcohol by volume.