Last night at Short and Main we had the best dinner of oven roasted Cape Cod Sea Scallops, warm farm fresh winter veggies, and the always superb Louis Prima pizza. Bethany, our friendly and knowledgeable bartender, asked if I would like to try Cappelletti instead of Aperol. I did try and absolutely LOVED it!!!
I found Cappelletti to be dryer and more richly flavorful than Aperol. Aperitivo Capelletti and Aperol are both red bitter liqueurs (aperitivos). Some red bitter liqueurs are spirit based and some are wine based. Cappelletti is categorized as gentian root infused aromatized wine. It’s difficult to find a list of ingredients because the recipes are closely guarded family secrets. Essentailly Cappelletti is made of wine, bitter gentian root, carmine (cochineal), alpine herbs, and spices. Carmine is obtained from grinding beetle shells into a fine powder and is what gives Cappelletti its distinct ruby red color. Carmine has been used for centuries to color food, clothing, cosmetics, and paint pigment.
Cappelletti may be the oldest classic red bitter liqueur in production. “The producer, which goes by the full name Antica Erboristeria Cappelletti, was first established in 1909. For most of their first century they were located in the historic Piazza Fiera in the center of Trento. Today they are located 20 km south of Trento in Aldeno, surrounded by vineyards and apple orchards. As the name would suggest, the firm was and is still today focused on products from traditional herbs, roots and flowers. They achieved fame in the region for their productions of amari and aperitivi, including the classic red bitter Aperitivo Cappelletti. All production is done in house by the fourth generation of the family, Luigi and Maddalena.”
Next time you are at Short and Main, say hi to Bethany and try a Cappelletti Spritz. You won’t be disappointed ❤