Salute to the grappa

Features, Back of House

Grappa, the clear drink made from residue after the first pressing for wine, could well be the new vodka, as the Grappa Lounge at the Trident Bandra Kurla gets underway, says Punam Mohandas.

The Grappa Lounge is located within Botticino, the Italian restaurant at Trident Bandra Kurla. This first-of-its kind lounge, besides stocking the regular, old-world kind, has decided to explore new-age grappas as well, and hence, has gone in for an exclusive tie-up with Alessandro Bottega, who is seeing an India-launch with The Oberoi Group.

The display of over 60 bottles is reverently housed in floor-to-ceiling glass and oak wood cupboards, with beautifully-cut Murano flagons and glasses flanking them – indisputably the centre of attraction in this contained space. Complementing this are elegant French cocktail tables, and natural Palisandro timbre chairs from Italy.

The handcrafted blown glass bottles are a work of art in themselves. The Smeraldo, for example, contains grappa made from prosecco, bottled in blown glass in the shape of a bunch of grapes, while the Grappolo Alexander contains a bunch of glass grapes inside it.

The exquisitely simple glasses are Luce flutes with a tall stem. Complete the entire feeling of luxury and wellbeing by choosing from among the world’s finest selection of cigars. Declares Nitesh Gandhi, executive assistant manager, food and beverage, Trident Bandra Kurla: “If you ask me, grappa is really classy, it’s the new vodka. Service temperature makes all the difference to whether this drink can be imbibed pre or post dinner.”

The Grappa Lounge is a restful area, dominated by three blown-up, original black-and-white photographs of Venice shot by Tarun Chopra. The interiors are done up in pleasing shades of burgundy and champagne; the warm colours are thrown up well by the lavender-streaked rug underfoot.

Botticino, apart from being a village in Lombardy, is also the name of an Italian marble, which has been used extensively not just in this space, but throughout the hotel. It is a dense limestone that does not wear with age.

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