Photo by Giorgio.bbb
Below is an excerpt from Serious Eats, read the full article here.
How is Cocchi pronounced?
(pronounced “COKE-ey”, not “COACH-ey”)
What is Cocchi Americano?
“Cocchi Aperitivo Americano is an Italian aperitif wine that debuted in 1891. Based on a foundation of Moscato di Asti, the wine is fortified and then flavored with cinchona bark, along with citrus peel, spices and other botanicals. Cinchona bark is the original source of quinine, and this substance gives Cocchi a bitter bite and places the wine in the category of chinati, Italian cousins of French quinquinas such as Dubonnet and St. Raphael. Introduced in the mid-1800s, quinquinas and chinati were originally designed to combat malaria; in the decades that followed, drinkers developed a taste for the herbal complexity and dry bitterness found in these wines, characteristics that also act as appetite stimulants, earning chinati and quinquinas a reputation as prized aperitifs.
Cocchi Americano is crisp and citrusy with a delicate bitter edge, but what makes Cocchi more intriguing to craft bartenders is what it’s not: Lillet. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, one of the most popular quinquinas was Kina Lillet, produced in France and utilized in a number of cocktail recipes until the mid-1900s.”