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On their website they describe it as “To be taken after meals to help digestion, changes in climate or season, quench the thirst of a hot summer’s day, or as an irreplaceable friend in everyday life.” Which is quaint and nice but try as I might over the past months I haven’t been able to find a productive use for Cappelletti’s Elisir Novasalus because it’s just so damned overpowering.
This despite it having the deck stacked in its favor. Just admire that bottle. Admire the font. Admire Cappelletti which is responsible for pumping so much energy into the world of amari and offers a jaw dropping assortment of grappas, liquors, and their eponymous apertivo. Plus it’s a family company with deep roots in the Trentino producing everything in a very san sano traditional manner.
You could politely describe it as challenging or distinctive but I’ll try unpalatable exactly because it completely washes out your entire mouth and makes it impossible to taste anything else for quite some time afterwards. Thinkng that there must be a cocktail application, I started with basic combinations to see if half an ounce might work with an ounce of whiskey. No? What about something sweeter? No? What about something more acidic? Ultimately you either have to love it for being Elisir Novasalus or admit that you can’t stand it because there is no way to meld it into a cocktail.
This is obviously a taste from another time and place so far out of my taste universe that I just can’t find a place for it. Thank god that Cappelletti keeps it around as a simple reminder of what was once normal because we need these reminders and gastronomic challenges. This is officially the learning bottle, the one that gather dust until the earthquake or some other unsuspecting soul reaches for it in a time of need.