For a long time this “bottled cocktail” was one of my favorite Amaro-like drinks. I would always recommend it to those getting into Amari. It sort of became my go to drink at The Hawthorne in Boston, a place that has one of the best educated bar beverage programs on earth.
Tagliatella comes from the word “cut”. The word is better known in reference to the fresh egg pasta of Bologna fame*. In this scenario it means the cuttings in liquid format. Back in the “old days” when Nardini would have their Grappas, Bitter and Amari in big vats, the leaky nozzles would have a bowl or bucket beneath them. These bowls would invariably have to be emptied at some point, but rather than tossing it, they were all blended together. At some point someone tried this inadvertent cocktail and was pleased, over time this started to be sold at the distillery with such success that the local customers started specifically requesting it! The modern blend is of course not made from drippings and I am sure Nardini does not have leaky barrels; it is blend of grappas and bitters with cherry juice added and then the assemblage is further aged.
Needles to say that in Italy I have enjoyed the label and one can imagine my excitement when I found a vintage bottling. Now, Amari ages differently in bottle than most spirits, due to having a large array of different flavor sources, base alcohols etc. Some have become sweeter, some flavor points become more pronounced, and sometimes time has rewarded us. Yet, here is an example of it simply not working out. The bottle was fine, but it didn’t have that fantastic grab it used to have on me. Of course it could have been sitting in a windowsill for 30 years. Maybe it was the fact that it lost the freshness the cherry once gave? As is always the case when comparing an aged bottling with the current release, maybe it was just made differently?
That what makes this fun.
*. Spaghetti alla Bolognese does not exist in Italy. The Ragu is served with the thicker Tagliatelle fresh egg pasta. This is a conversation for another day.