Pittsburgh's alcohol scene is growing at an incredible pace, and over the last few years we've been fortunate to have many breweries, whiskey distilleries, rum distilleries, and even a vodka distillery open and call the region home.
One alcohol style we have not been fortunate enough to have is an infusion producer. This all changed when Bella Bambini Cello opened its doors in Coraopolis in late 2017.
Alcohol Infusions at Their Finest
We have to start this review by saying that Bella Bambini Cello is not a distillery. A distillery, by its very nature, produces alcohol by fermenting sugars and then distilling the liquor into the concentrated spirits we know and love.
An infusion producer, on the other hand, begins with the alcohol and imparts flavor by soaking various ingredients into the spirit for a specific period of time (generally seven to 30 days depending on how fast the flavors extract).
If this sounds simple, it is because it really is. We've dabbled in home infusion ourselves and can safely say that while infusing alcohol is easy, producing a consistently good flavor is sometimes the tricky part- and this is what Bella Bambini does well.
Bella Bambini Cello begins with a neutral grain alcohol (96% abv) and infuses various flavors into their products like lemon, orange, blueberry, or coffee before cutting the spirit with water and simple syrup to their final 32.5% proof for bottling. The strong flavors linger well in your mouth and catch you a bit off guard, but the relatively high ABV can sneak up on you if you're not careful when consuming!
Tastes Are Free at This Bottle Shop
When visiting Bella Bambini, we weren't sure what to expect. We quickly found out that this one is a bottle shop through and through, meaning there are no glasses or cocktails available for purchase at a bar.
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The owners are happy to provide you complimentary tastes of bottles that you'd like to sample (and naturally, I tried almost all of them), but they are still a bottle shop at the end of the day.
As Bella Bambini Cello is still relatively young, they have a lot of room to grow. New flavors are planned to come out in the near future, and maybe, if we all bother them enough, a cocktail bar will follow to give us a few more reasons to return in the future!
Bella Bambini Cello is located at 1042 5th Avenue in Coraopolis, PA.