February 26, 2014
We Love Vermouth
Just under a year ago Mixology Group first met the lovely Sarah Thompson from Blackdown Spirits and Lurgashall Wineries. Sarah came down to our Mixology School in Brighton with three little bottles labelled “Gin, Vodka and Vermouth”.
Intrigued by her back story and her productions methods we couldn’t wait to try her wares. Her Vodka and Gin were both sublime, but it was her Vermouth that really caught our attention. Up until the release of the excellent Sacred Vermouth a while back there were no other serious contenders for the title of “English Vermouth”, so this was really exciting.
Sarah makes her Vermouth from Birch tree wine which she gets from tapping Birch trees for their sap on the Lurgashall Estate. She then adds this to her own secret blend of botanicals and then fortifies it to bring it up to 14.7% ABV. This combined with her Lovely Sussex Dry gin makes an amazing martini which for once contains 100 % British ingredients.
There is nothing wrong with using vermouth from abroad, in fact for a long time we have no other choice. But alas the choice was rather limited to only a handful of brands. Now it seems there is a new Vermouth hitting the UK shores every month. This is fantastic news for the avid vermouth fan as bars around the country are stocking more and more brands as bartenders cotton on to the fact that they have an array of different flavours and are an incredibly versatile cocktail ingredient. That allows you to create really complex drinks but at the lower end of the Alcohol scale. This is great news for bartenders and consumers alike as there is a distinct shift to low alcohol cocktails for this summer.
Our vermouths for this Summer
La Quintinye Vermouth Royal from EWG Spirits and Wine
We tried all three and were immediately impressed. They are fantastic vermouths and come in very handy 375 ml bottles meaning your vermouth will stay fresher for longer especially if you keep it in the fridge
Blackdown Vermouth from Blackdown Spirits
Made in Sussex this vermouth is the first Bianco style vermouth to be produced in the UK. Wonderfully creamy and with a spicy finish. Excellent on its own or mixed.
If you would like to learn more about Vermouth then why not try our Advanced Bartender Course where we cover a day of tasting and creating vermouth’s, bitters and liqueurs.