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I'm Beth, a vertically-challenged photographer, stylist, recipe developer and explorer. Welcome to my blog!

Peaches Americano
Cocchi Americano and Peaches

Cocchi Americano is an Italian aperitif produced just outside Asti in the picturesque hilltop village of Cocconato.

Cocconato

Cocconato

It's a fortified wine made with Moscato d'Asti grapes infused with citrus and various botanicals including cinchona bark.  The cinchona bark is the source of quinine, which lends a bitter quality the Italians love.  Americano is probably enjoyed most often on ice with a splash of Prosecco and a twist of orange zest, but serving it with sweet fresh peaches should be a close second, in my opinion.

peaches in Cocchi Americano

The Bava winery produces Americano, along with a number of other really interesting aperitifs including a Vermouth di Torino, Cocchi Rosa, and my favorite Barolo Chinato.

Fratelli Bava Vivi Cocconato

Barolo Chinato is also a fortified wine infused with botanicals, but it is made with Nebbiolo grapes from Barolo.  The Barolo Chinato is more commonly served as a digestif, at the end of a meal.  It pairs beautifully with dark chocolate, one of the reasons I like it so much.

This poster at the winery reveals the 'secret' ingredients in Barolo Chianto Cocchi, but no recipe was forthcoming...

This poster at the winery reveals the 'secret' ingredients in Barolo Chianto Cocchi, but no recipe was forthcoming...

There's a tasting room at Bava located in Cocconato's old train station, it's about a five minute drive from the town's main piazza.  If you ever find yourself in Asti, don't miss a trip to Cocconato for a tasting at the Bava Winery.  Early autumn is probably the best time to visit the area. Asti hosts the Douja D'Or (wine festival) and the Sagre D'Asti (Asti's food festival) during the first couple weeks of September.  These festivals draw thousands of visitors from near and far.

Aperitif tasting at Bava.

Aperitif tasting at Bava.

A taste of Italy, Peaches Americano is 'la dolce vita' in a glass.  The very best kind of summer dessert.  It takes only a few minutes to prepare, and you never have to go anywhere near the oven.

fresh peaches in Cocchi Americano
peaches.jpg

For four servings you'll need:

  • 4 peaches
  • 1/2 bottle of Americano

Optional garnish of a few fresh mint or basil leaves

Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits.  Cut each half into 6 wedges and put the peaches into a big jar or a bowl.  Pour the Americano over the peaches and let the mixture sit for an hour or two at room temperature.  Add a few small leaves of fresh mint or fresh basil just before serving.  After you've eaten the fruit, you are left with a few sips of a delicious peach infused Americano.

 

Cocconato street sign.

Cocconato street sign.

Foggy day view from Cocconato.
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Postcards from Chianti - Dario Cecchini

Postcards from Chianti - Dario Cecchini