Once upon a time, when we were allowed to travel abroad without being locked up on our return, I had the pleasure of visiting Reus, Catalonia’s longtime center of vermouth production.
It was something of a revelation, I had rather forgotten about vermouth apart from a dim memory of a bottle lurking at the back of my parent’s’cocktail cabinet’ that only came out at Xmas.
That was of course Martini, which became synonymous with vermouth and which I found far too sweet.Reus showed me another side of vermouth (or vermut as they say there) and now with the arrival at my door of a bottle of VermÃƒÂ², my thoughts change again.
A modern take on the classic vermouth di Torino Rosso from Italy this is a meeting of Spanish and Italian vermouths that has a much lighter body and lower sugar content than typical vermouths.
Chardonnay has been added to the wine base to add extra acidity and has a 14% sugar content, making it a much lighter drink than most vermouths.
VermÃƒÂ² (17% ABV) is the brainchild of two friends Jorge Ferrer, a Spaniard, and Ettore Velutto, an Italian, created this modern vermouth and I like it. IThe bottle is elegant and the drink itself contains 30 botanicals and is produced in Turin, at the historic Canellese distillery.
The botanicals, (as listed, I could not spot them all) are wormwood, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, cardamom, juniper, orange, sage and rhubarb with some more out of the ordinary botanicals such as mint, lemon, ginger, white pepper, galangal and aloe.
This certainly hit the spot, I don’t know how Italians drink this for aperitivo as I wanted to have a lie down ten minutes later. It was a drink too easy to gulp down.
The balance of sweet and bitter was fine, the bitter just topping the sweetness and giving astringency.This really is a superior vermouth and the price reflects this, but you won’t regret the extra outlay.VermÃƒÂ² is now available to buy in the UK via Ocado, Master of Malt and the Whiskey Exchange, RRP £27.95.
Here are some of Jorge and Ettore’s favourite recipes for Aperitivo hour at home.
The Americano: 45ml VermÃƒÂ² Vermouth, 45ml Campari, top up with soda water and garnish
with a lemon or orange peel
The Classic Negroni: 30ml VermÃƒÂ² Vermouth, 30ml quality gin and 30ml Campari, garnished
with an orange peel
VermÃƒÂ² & Tonic Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 50ml VermÃƒÂ² Vermouth, 200ml quality tonic water, garnish with a lemon
peel or orange peel and mint leaves.
The Manhattan: 30ml VermÃƒÂ² Vermouth, 60ml Rye Whiskey, garnish with Maraschino