With a specialty drinks menu dedicated entirely to grappa, Vizio Grappa Bar was born out of a desire to educate Sydney-siders about the Italian spirit.
Vizio Caffé e Cucina opened its doors in Woolloomooloo in August 2017 and has since been trading for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Until a few months ago, they had 12 different grappa varieties on the back bar and as an Italian venue, they sought to create something a little different.
“Seeing as Italian as we can be, and loving our national spirit, we were thinking of a way to let Sydney and Australia know about what our country had to offer in the spirit department,” says Vizio owner and general manager, Matia Zoffoli. Many of his customers related stories of trying grappa for the first time and disliking it so much that he sought to change their perception. “The truth is that they probably got “burned” by trying some of the old style “in-house” made spirit that has nothing to do with what grappa is today. Our goal from day one was to open people’s minds and let them discover a product that is as good as gin or whisky.”
Vizio currently stocks a selection of 90 different grappas, arguably the largest in Sydney. The list is divided by regions, Piemonte, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto and Trentino Alto Adige, and includes the grape variety, style of spirit, ageing process and brief tasting notes.
The next challenge for Vizio was to entice customers to try something new so a grappa-based cocktail list was developed. The bar team turned to classics for inspiration and tried various grappa varieties to find the best match for the style of cocktail.
Vizio’s eight strong grappa cocktail list includes Grappa Spritz with Aperol and Prosecco, Grappatini with Cocchi Americano Bianco, Monarita which is a riff on the Margarita and North Fashioned made with a 10 year old grappa. After some initial doubts from their customers, the grappa cocktail list was eventually well received. “All of them were sceptical at the beginning but they all let us guide them through an interesting journey of new flavours”.
Sydney has long embraced specialty bars such as gin bars and whisky bars, but are Sydney-siders ready for a grappa bar?
“I think Sydney can be ready for grappa. It may take us a little bit to spread the world, but with such a high Italian influence, especially around the hospitality industry, it should not be a problem,” says Zoffoli. “A few years ago, we had the gin boom and gin bars and before that, not many people where drinking all these gins and martinis. We’d like to believe that there could be space and time for a new trend”.
Vizio Grappa Bar / Vizio Caffé e Cucina
Address: Shop 1/ 52 – 58 William St, Woolloomooloo, NSW 2011