Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Fruity Summer Sips: Perisecco

Every year, the UK gets treated to a new wave of light, boozy summer drinks to try. We've reviewed so many in the past, and I'm always willing to try something new, so I was very intrigued last week when the Perisecco guys sent me an email to introduce themselves.

They told me Perisecco is an Italian aperitivo from the northern Veneto region (apparently it became particularly popular in ski resorts in the Italian Alps), which comes in a range of fruity flavours and is just 5.5% abv.

It's sold in a Prosecco-ish style bottle, and obviously its name has similarities to this hugely popular Italian wine, but be in no doubt that this is not Prosecco, does not contain any Prosecco and is not based on Prosecco in any way.
It's official description on the label is 'sparkling aromatised wine product', and it's produced in Germany, not Italy.

So should you buy this as an alternative to a bellini or another fruity Prosecco cocktail? In a word: no.
BUT, it is only £3.99 per bottle from Tesco, so it's really not fair to compare the two - I just wanted to clear that up.

Anyway, they sent me two bottles to review, and so the girls and I got together last night with our glasses at the ready.

Perisecco comes in a range of flavours, from lemon to hibiscus, and I was sent Perisecco Iced Melon and Perisecco Cucumber. Both are also flavoured with mint and elderflower.

However - and I'm waiting on confirmation of this from the guys who sent it to me - I should mention that the labels describe these drinks as flavoured with "the aromas of" cucumber/elderflower/melon etc, not the actual ingredients themselves. Obviously, I took that to mean these drinks are flavoured artificially (and the inexpensive price would suggest that too).

Perisecco Cucumber has a nice light green colour and has a recognisable green cucumber smell mingled with hints of elderflower. It's about as sweet as moscato, but not as light, or as sparkling, or as delicate in flavour. (Of course, it isn't trying to be moscato - I'm just giving you something to measure it by.) The flavours are quite obvious - although I didn't get much mint, to be honest - and it's pleasant to drink over ice. Personally, it was too sweet for me, but then I don't drink many sweeter style drinks.

Perisecco Iced Melon is a vibrant light red colour, and is similar in body and sweetness to the cucumber. The aromas and taste are very confected - it smelled like gummy bears and one of my guests described the taste as 'a bit like drinking liquid jelly that hasn't set' which I thought wasn't too far off the mark. Again, it wasn't unpleasant at all, but it wasn't overly melon-y to us - it's just a nice, sweet, fruity-ish drink which is refreshing in the warm weather.

So, in conclusion: for us personally, the drinks were a bit too sweet and we wouldn't drink them on their own. Those with sweeter teeth will of course think differently - and if you're after something really inexpensive to sip on a sunny day then this will most definitely be enjoyable.

They are also a good inexpensive and not-too-boozy ingredient for summer punch or spritzy cocktails on a budget. Or, as one of my guests suggested, "turbo Pimms", with the cucumber Perisecco replacing lemonade.

The drinks are available from Tesco for £3.99 per bottle - they currently only stock the two flavours I tried, Perisecco Cucumber and Perisecco Iced Melon.

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