This Elisir di Uva Zibibbo is a dense syrup with a sweet, tangy flavor, full of the complex aromas of one of Sicilia’s most famous wine grapes. The grapes are cooked down to a thick reduction with just a bit of sugar, and while we have been known to eat it straight from the jar by the spoonful, it is the perfect complement for soft or hard cheeses, creamy gelato and yogurt. Drizzle it over berries, spread it on warm bread or stir it into tea. Or, for a day that needs an extra pick-me-up, try your own version of the Gustiamo house cocktail; we like ours with Aperol, fresh lemon juice, Zibibbo Grape Elixir, and Zibibbo Raisins for garnish.
Zibibbo - also known as Muscat of Alexandria - is a large grape indigenous to north Africa and Pantelleria, a tiny island in the Mediterranean between Sicilia and Tunisia. Cultivation of Zibibbo grapes dates back to the time of the Phoenicians, but on Pantelleria, the intense heat and volcanic soil create the perfect sweet and tangy fruit.
And we’re not the only ones who are wild about it. Zibibbo farming in Pantelleria, passed down through generations of vine growers, is the first agricultural activity to ever be included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. In Pantelleria, the Zibibbo grape is used to make the famous sweet dessert wine Passito di Pantelleria, dried to make Zibibbo raisins, and reduced to make Zibibbo Elixir. However you enjoy them, you’ll be tasting a tradition hundreds of years in the making.
Since its founding, the company has expanded to include caperberries (cucunci in Sicilian dialect) and Zibibbo raisins. La Nicchia strives to present the best of what the land has to offer, crafted in the simplest way possible.