IMG_3042‘Gazzosa’ (or ‘gassosa’ – alternative spelling) and ‘Chinotto’ are old-fashioned Italian carbonated soft drinks.  They haven’t been trendy for years – if they ever were.  But now, Lurisia,  bottler of the famous mineral water from the S. Barbara springs in Lurisia Terme in Piedmont, is producing a superior version of both.  It’s worth looking out for.

The Lurisia products are made of Lurisia mineral water  and the juice of carefully selected fruits; free of colouring agents and preservatives; packaged in recyclable glass bottles; and labelled with simple, stylish and, according to some slightly ‘snobbish’, labels.  They’re a marketer’s dream it’s true, but the drinks themselves are delicious – well-worth whatever effort it takes to find them.

I hadn’t heard of ‘Gazzosa’ until recently I heard it being ordered in a local bar.  “It’s not at all a refined drink”, I was told, ” just lemonade”.  And, in fact,  when I checked a dictionary later, I found that ‘gassosa’ is defined as ‘lemonade’.  But it doesn’t seem to be quite what we usually think of as lemonade.  Having asked for ‘Gazzosa’, my friends were  apparently served Schweppes lemonade – they knew immediately it wasn’t ‘gassosa’ .  Gassosa, they said, is different: not as sweet, slighter more bitter.  Later, the waiter confirmed that he hadn’t, in fact, served Gassosa.  He said you don’t see Gassosa around much any more: these days, more often than not, when you order it in a bar in Palermo, you’ll be served Schweppes.

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