Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pisa Liqueur – An Indulgent Nutty Taste Sensation

Pisa Liqueur Photo Credit: Bill Rockwell


    Those familiar with Amaretto, the almond-flavored liqueur from Italy, should recognize the taste and visual similarity of Pisa, another Italian nut –based liqueur from the Tuscany region.
    The difference on the palate lies in the fact that the producer of Pisa also blends in hazelnuts (think Frangelico) and pistachios to recreate a more subtle flavor profile extended even more with a hint of orange peel. All these are blended so carefully that no one ingredient overpowers the others.
    Swirl this honey colored liqueur in your snifter and bombard your olfactory senses with sweet nutty-ness. Then watch as the viscous liquid slowly descends the sides of the glass forming prominent legs that defy gravity and linger.
    Perhaps not as sweet as its Amaretto cousin, Pisa caresses the mouth with a velvety, sensuality that warms as it’s swallowed – not with an unpleasant burn, but with the whisper of a hot summer breeze.
    The liqueur gets its name from the Tuscan city of Pisa, located in a region known for its nut production and famous for its leaning tower.  As a marketing tool, the liqueur bottle has the same lean or slant as the tower, something that might cause a hearty imbiber to rub his or her eyes for a second look. Yes, the bottle designers came up with an iconic look, one that stands out from its fellows on a bar. In this regard, Pisa might be thought of as taking a new “slant” on Amaretto.
Italian Coffee - Pisa in Coffee
     Bottled at 48 proof, Pisa can be drunk as an aperitif before meals or as a digestif afterwards.  It can be enjoyed in a brandy snifter at room temperature or in a cocktail glass over ice. I like it to flavor my coffee. Just remember to hold the sugar.

   Pisa should be heaven when poured over vanilla ice cream and can be added to whipping cream to top off a dessert. And did I mention its empathy for cheesecake, nut rolls, crème anglaise and pumpkin pie?     
    Pisa  is also versatile enough to serve as a cocktail ingredient. Hotmixology.com suggests making a Living the Dreamsickle by putting in a cocktail shaker with ice Pinnacle Orange Whip Vodka, Pisa Liqueur, espresso and heavy cream.. Shake, pour into a martini glass and garnish with an almond biscotti.

    Pisa sells for a suggested retail price of $23.00, $19.99 at Pennsylvania liquor stores.

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