Noilly Prat, the world-renowned vermouth crafted by the sea, made its first foray into prestigious trade show, Bar Convent Berlin this year. To showcase its proximity to the sea, overlooking miles of oyster tables, and the importance it has on its unique production process, Noilly Prat brought the South of France to the urban surroundings of Germany’s capital. From Noilly Prat deck chairs to fresh lemon trees, guests were transported to the home of this fine French vermouth nestled in the pretty fishing village of Marseillan. Led by Coupette’s Chris Moore, Noilly Prat served over 3,800 industry friends at its debut this week.
A TASTE OF THE SOUTH OF FRANCE
With its central location in the courtyard entrance to the show, along with sunny 22-degree weather, the Noilly Prat team shucked over 1,000 fresh oysters that were enjoyed with chilled Noilly Prat Original Dry poured over the oyster, which was then either sipped from the shell or devoured in one. Over 2,800 aperitifs were served, including L’Apéritif, Noilly Prat Original Dry over ice with a twist of lemon, Chris Moore’s Maison Highball, featuring Noilly Prat Original dry, green chartreuse, spruce shoot syrup and celery bitters topped with tonic and served with a slim celery twist and Noilly Prat Original Dry served with Perrier and frozen grapes – inspired by Dante’s ‘Vermouth Service’.
Bartenders from across the UK will put their mixology skills to the test in a cocktail competition showcasing the versatility of Antica Formula, the original Italian vermouth.
At stake is the chance for four regional winners to enjoy an exclusive VIP trip to Milan to visit the Fratelli Branca Distillery, where Antica Formula is still made to the original 1786 recipe.
With Antica Formula a key ingredient in three much-loved cocktails – the Negroni, Americano, and Hanky Panky – entrants will need to demonstrate their knowledge of the heritage and character of the iconic red vermouth.
UK distributor Hi-Spirits is inviting bartenders to create their own aperitivo recipe based on one of the four classics. The drink must either feature on the cocktail menu or as a special at their bar. The shortlisted finalists will be invited to compete at four regional events in Scotland, London, the North West and the Midlands, where they will be asked to:
• Make three of their chosen cocktail from the Negroni, Americano and Hanky Panky; the drinks will be made individually and contestants judged on consistency;
• Make the cocktail which they originally submitted to the competition.
The four regional contests will be decided by a panel of judge headed by Nicola Branca, world ambassador for Antica Formula. Judges will be awarding points for drinks that reflect the tradition and strengths of Antica Formula, as well as the contestants’ technical skills.
Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “Antica Formula is at the heart of some of the world’s best-loved cocktails. We’re not only inviting the UK’s top bartenders to show that they can make the classics expertly and consistently, but also that they have the skill and ingenuity to create an aperitivo of their own as a twist one of these great cocktails.”
The competition opens on 1 May, and entrants have until 31 July to enter their aperitivo recipe online at http://www.Hi-Spirits.com/competitions, where full terms and conditions can be found. The regional finals will be held between 4 and 8 September, with the winners heading to Milan later in September.
• Antica Formula is the classic Italian red Vermouth, sweet and with a subtle vanilla aroma. It was created by Antonio Benedetto Carpano, the inventor of the Vermouth category, in 1786. Made by Fratelli Branca Distillerie with a selected infusion of mountain herbs and spices, including saffron, Antica Formula is produced in limited quantities and sealed with a cork in a distinctive brown bottle which includes a reproduction of the original 1786 label. As well as an essential ingredient in many classic cocktail, Antica Formula is ideal to drink over ice with an orange wedge, both as an aperitivo or after dinner.
Venetian-Italian cicchetti eatery TOZI Restaurant & Bar in Victoria is celebrating summer 2016 with a drinks menu filled with the season’s hottest tipple: Vermouth. TOZI’s Vermouth Specials menu has been designed to showcase the versatility and vibrancy of this Italian fortified wine, with an extensive range including TOZI’s spice-infused, barrel-aged signature Negroni, made with TOZI’s own house-blend, as well as a selection of superior vermouths and delicious cocktails created by TOZI’s mixologists.
Served as an aperitif, mixed in a cocktail or simply neat over ice, vermouth is a fortified wine aromatised with a variety of herbs, spices and botanicals. Its sweet flavour is balanced out by bitter notes, making it the perfect all round summer’s drink with wide-spread appeal.
Take a look at a selection of cocktails from the menu, now being served with Mediterranean panache at TOZI.
Vermouth & Tonic – Glass £7.50
Had too many G&Ts before the summer’s even kicked in? Try a vermouth and tonic and your taste buds will not be let down. This light and refreshing drink, served with your choice of vermouth has a bitter punch that is perfectly complemented by the vermouth’s fruity flavour.
Monte Rosa – Glass £9
Named after one of the highest mountains in the Alps, the Monte Rosa cocktail is so named for it heightened flavour and ice cold refreshing hit. Made with both classic Cocchi Bianco and Cocchi Rosa vermouths, Bulleit Rye Whisky and Aperol and served over ice, this cocktail really packs a glacial punch. Not for the faint hearted.
Il Bugiardo – Glass £9
One for the tequila lovers, this bittersweet cocktail has a Cocchi Vermouth base, and contains Ocho 8, Bénédictine and Grand Marnier. Rather like a Mexican Negroni, It is served on ice, in a tumbler.
Il Professore – Glass £9
Vermouth del Professore is a perfectly aged sweet Italian vermouth named after Jerry Thomas, the legendary 19th century bartender considered to be the father of American mixology and known to some as ‘The Professor’. Containing an infusion of 13 spices, this vermouth is of a superior quality and can be enjoyed in a cocktail or on its own. Mixed here with Plantation 3 Stars White Rum, Galliano and St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, it is has a subtle bitterness with a smooth but punchy finish.
Sir Negroni – Glass£8.50
This house signature serve is intensified after being aged in an oak barrel for a month and is served straight from the barrel at the table. The key ingredients of gin, Campari and Vermouth Rosso are mixed with a combination of herbs and spices for a month and a half to develop a smooth flavour and a deepened aroma over time. Served on the rocks with an orange twist, it takes the old favourite to new heights.
TOZI Spritz – Glass £8, Carafe £27
One for the Prosecco lovers, the TOZI Spritz offers a refreshing alternative. TOZI’s house vermouth is combined with Cynar bitter liqueur, rosemary and a dash of ginger ale, making a light serve with a sophisticated twist that is perfect for a summer’s evening.
Spirits innovator Emporia Brands is working in collaboration with its award-winning Distilleries et Domaines de Provence range to bring to the UK for the first time National Provence Cocktail Day.
Set to be this coming Friday 3rd June 2016, a number of bars and restaurants across the UK have joined the campaign to show off their cocktail creations using either the peach vermouth of Rinquinquin, the first legal absinthe since the ban of 1914 in Absente, and the thyme flavour of Farigoule, culminating in a hub of recipes to be featured upon www.provencecocktails.com.
No region of France is as incredibly blessed as Provence with the range of raw materials for original flavours to create wondrous liqueurs and vermouths. From orchards of peaches to hillsides of wormwood, Distilleries et Domaines de Provence have a glorious palette of flavours to work from, to create spirits, liqueurs and vermouths to inspire bartenders nationally.
National Provence Cocktail Day celebrates the innovation of such, showcasing the talent and creations from a wide variety of concepts, both on and off trade, across the UK.
Highlights across the UK include The Blackbird in Edinburgh showing off Provence Cocktails in the ‘Garden Shed’(Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June), whilst their Beer Garden will be taken over with an exclusive cocktail menu of 4 Provence delights.
Bistro Provence, also in Edinburgh, are running a week of Provence Cocktails, recommending their creations with food pairings, whilst The Tippling House in Aberdeen have produced five Provence Cocktails for the weekend.
In London, Gaucho Smithfields are launching a Provence Cocktail Day menu as part of their Aperitivo terrace, including the Rinquinquin based Peach Frappe.
The Midlands see’s the likes of The Edgbaston and 40st Pauls from Birmingham and Hockley Arts Club, World Social and Annies Burger Shack (all located in Nottingham) embracing Farigoule, Absente and Rinquinquin within their trademark cocktails, whilst the North East sees an in-store tasting at Fenwicks in Newcastle from 12-6pm and a Provence Cocktail Showcase on the 2nd June at BonBar with exclusive invites to local industry figures.
On the South Coast, the General Wine Company and their Liphook and Petersfield branches will be running Absente Absinthe tastings over the weekend, with the in-store tastings also running to Amathus Knightsbridge with a look at Rinquinquin.
The North of England will see El Gato Negro creating several Rinquinquin serves, whilst Cottonopolis have for you a specialised cocktail menu with Rinquinquin and Farigoule as well as food pairings. To continue the Manchester theme, Dusk Til Pawn have been utilising Farigoule for their Provence Cocktail specials, whilst it will also be the venue for a city-wide Provence Cocktail Day competition to show off the creativity of the city.
Speakeasy venue Riddles Bar in Altrincham are serving up Absente creations following the success of National Absinthe Day back in March, whilst Leeds and Backroom Bar have a Farigoule and Casco Viejo tequila creation on offer.
To cap off the Provence Cocktail Day activity, Pollen Street Social in London are joining forces with Emporia Brands and Distilleries et Domaines de Provence on the 5th June as part of Social Sunday 2016 For Hospitality Action.
A 5-course tasting menu prepared by Chef owner Jason Atherton, Sat Bains, Tom Kerridge and Claude Bosi is available, whilst across the street at Little Social, Greg Marchand from Frenchie, will be cooking his own tasting menu.
Also getting in on the food pairings are La Petite Mort in Edinburgh who are running a week long pop-up menu of four cocktails which will have recommended food pairings, culminating in a hosted 3 course dinner with paired Provence Cocktails on the 7th June.
For more information on Distilleries et Domaines de Provence and Emporia Brands, please visit www.emporiabrands.com
There’s more to Valentine’s Day than champagne and roses and Belsazar Vermouth have released a limited edition 2010 Vintage Rosé vermouth which will please epicureans, trend followers and purveyors of luxury. The First vermouth of it’s kind, only 2,000 of which have been released worldwide, this handsome bottle will make unique and unconventional gift for loved ones to savour on the special day.
Full bodied, with a fruity taste and spicy bitter note, this is the perfect present for discerning drinkers. The vermouth conjures aromas of raspberry, bitter almond, honey and fine marzipan on the palate and nose. It’s delicious drunk on it’s own over ice, or mixed to create a Martinez cocktail, a twist on the classic Martini which provides a sophisticated and sensory sip. A versatile ingredient, it can be a delicious digestif after a home cooked meal or aperitif ahead of a restaurant reservation.
Paving the way for high quality and innovative vermouth, Belsazar ensure only the best wine is used in the production process and work with award winning bio-dynamic producers in the Black Forest, Germany. The Vintage Rosé is made from rosé wine created fromPinot Noir grapes, which is then aged for 5 years, a rarity in the wineworld. The vermouth is expertly blended with a secret selection of botanicals and small-batch Schladerer fruit brandies that work harmoniously together. The vermouth is then further aged for months to enhance the complex flavours.
Continuing to shake up the vermouth category, the Vintage Rosé joins Belsazar’s range of exquisite vermouth which includes four other variants: Rosé, Dry, Red and White.
RRP £36.50- £40 for a 75cl bottle. Available from the Whisky Exchange, Gerry’s and Master of Malt. ABV 19.5%.
To celebrate the release of the new James Bond film ‘Spectre’, how about a recipe for a vermouth Martini that gives a nod to Bond’s favourite drink, but is delicately stirred to enhance the subtle flavours of Belsazar.
Made with Belsazar Dry, the Martini is enhanced with the fruity floral take and finished with bitter aromatics.
Classic Martini recipe:
40 ml Belsazar Dry
40 ml Tanqueray 10
1 dash orange bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.
Gancia, available all over the world, yet a sort of unsung brand when talking vermouth.
Shall we rectify a little?
Carlo Gancia was born back in 1829 in Borolo, Italy and studied in Reims, France to learn the production techniques for Champagne. He returned to Italy in 1850 to establish the ‘Fratelli Gancia’ Company and set to redefine the Champagne style by exploiting and re-elaborating his knowledge and applying them to the typical muscat grapes that were cultivated in the area. With this, Gancia created a new type of champagne in 1865 and called it Italian Sparkling Wine.
At the age of 18 though (back in 1847), Carlo became the nominated partner, and later Director, of the company Dettori &C., where he created a new recipe to refine the taste and the aroma of Vermouth. Following his past intuition, Gancia used the moscato grape as a base for the infusion of the herbs commonly associated with vermouth. It’s here that the Gancia expressions came into focus.
1927 saw the foundation of the French Gancia company at Marseilles arise with the idea to promote the Bianco and Americano expressions, with both becoming very popular in France as a result. Two years later, Turin born Eugenio Colmo designs the famous poster “Vermouth Bianco”, and in 1950, the company celebrated its First Centenary with the official launch of Gancia Rosso.
The three usual names, Extra Dry, Rosso and Bianco, alongside the Americano, are all produced in Canelli and are a base of young white wines (or red in the case of the rosso) and a selection of herbs. The production itself is split into three phases, seeing phase one as the selection of the most neural wines which are perfect to combine the selected herbs and spices. The mix of herbs and spices itself is turned into a liquid with an abv of 30%. This is then blended with the selected wine alongside sugar and extracts, then filtered and refined within tanks. Once tasted and deemed ready, it’s bottled and enjoyed.
So how does each fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Gancia Extra Dry – 18%
Soft fresh herbal notes on the nose, with rich grape and smooth sugar beet notes. Light on the palate, with a thin texture of fresh citrus, ripe herbs and dry bark. Natural sweetness underlines, but a lingering dry finish is prominent.
Gancia Bianco – 16%
Bold vanilla and banana notes on the nose, with plenty of natural, fresh sweetness coming through. Aniseed, soft lavender and pomegranate come though. A light kick of sweetness on the palate, turning slightly sharp once it develops. Plenty of muscato grapes shine through, with stewed apple and ripe pear flavours joining on the lingering and slightly dry finish.
Gancia Americano– 14.5%
Light, natural sweetness comes through on the nose. Subtle wormwood is present, as is orange rind. Thick texture on the palate, with a well-balanced offering between sweet and bitterness. Genting notes are present, as is the expected orange and grape flavours. A bold finish with dry spices offering a subtle, lingering finish.
Gancia Rosso – 16%
Rich, fresh notes of herbs and dry spice on the nose, with bold red berry and soft sweetness. Thin texture with a fresh fruit base on the palate. Sharp herbal notes come through, with some stewed spices offering a long, slightly bitter finish.
A really good range of vermouth here, and of course are versatile enough to not just have chilled –
35 ml Gancia Vermouth Rosso
35 ml Gancia Americano
35 ml Soda Water
Combine each ingredient over an ice filled glass and stir. Garnish with a wedge of fresh orange.
Although yes, Gancia may be seen more as perhaps a wine and sparkling wine brand over vermouth, with much of their history focusing over the two categories, the vermouth is an unsung hero within the aperitif world and is not one to gloss over. Worth shaking up your drinks cabinet at home and treat yourself to a straight Gancia Bianco, or a round of Americano cocktail with friends.
The classic dry martini cocktail is one of the world’s most internationally recognised cocktails and on Friday 19 June, we celebrate its longstanding reputation with World Martini Day. NOILLY PRAT®, one of the world’s finest French vermouths since 1813, is a key ingredient in the classic dry martini cocktail. Here are four ways to celebrate World Martini Day with Noilly Prat.
Enjoy the original, world class Noilly Prat classic dry martini cocktail recipe or discover three unique expressions, inspired and created by some of the world’s best bartenders for Noilly Prat’s inaugural cocktail challenge. Since the competition began in September 2014, leading drinks experts from around the world judged each bartender’s twist on the iconic classic dry martini cocktail.
CLASSIC DRY MARTINI COCKTAIL
1 part Noilly Prat Original Dry
2 parts GREY GOOSE® vodka or BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin
Dash of orange bitters
Lucques olive to garnish
1. Place all the ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice + stir well
2. Single strain into a classic cocktail glass
3. Garnish with a cocktail onion
NOILLY PRAT DRY MÉDITERRANÉE WINNER OF THE 2015 NOILLY PRAT CLASSIC DRY MARTINI COCKTAIL CHALLENGE
Created by: Romain de Saussure, Prescription Cocktail Club, Paris, France
20ml Noilly Prat Original Dry
40ml homemade tincture (Bombay Sapphire infused with Noilly Prat, green olives and rosemary)
1. Prepare and clean martini glasses and chill in the freezer
2. Fill a mixing glass with ice
3. Add Noilly Prat Original Dry and Bombay Sapphire
4. Add the grapefruit peel and stir until perfectly diluted and cold
5. Strain into chilled glasses and garnish with rosemary and cheese (optional)
NOILLY PRAT FRENCH PRIDE
Created by: Steve Lawson, MASH, London, UK
60 ml Noilly Prat Original Dry
35 ml Bombay Sapphire
Half bar spoon of truffle honey
Garnish with hand stuffed olives
1. Pour 60ml of Noilly Prat Original Dry into a mixing glass with ice
2. Add 35ml of Bombay Sapphire and stir
3. Add half a barspoon of truffle honey
4. Strain and serve in a classic dry martini cocktail glass
5. Garnish with hand stuffed olives NOILLY PRAT THE DAYBOAT’S RETURN
Created by: Piotr Sajdak, Little Red Door, Paris, France
40ml Noilly Prat Original Dry
20ml Bombay Sapphire
10ml Ocean tincture (10ml of oil of anchovies | 50ml of polish spirit | 20ml violet)
1. Fill a mixing glass with ice
2. Add Noilly Prat Original Dry and Bombay Sapphire
3. Add homemade Ocean tincture
4. Stir slowly
5. Strain into a chilled coupe glass
6. Garnish with a linen bag as a nod to the fishermen
MARTINI®, the internationally awarded vermouth, has launched its new Vermouth di Torino line, MARTINI RISERVA SPECIALE. This crafted style of vermouth includes two variants, RUBINO and AMBRATO, which have been created using carefully selected Italian wines. Setting the standard for a Vermouth di Torino, the MARTINI Masters pay tribute to the traditional methods used by the first MARTINI Master Herbalist to craft a product of true distinction.
VERMOUTH DI TORINO
Since 1863 MARTINI has been producing vermouth in the Piemonte region, on the same site where it was established over 150 years ago. MARTINI RISERVA SPECIALE expresses the quality and authenticity of the original style of Vermouth di Torino, reclaiming its traditions whilst marking a first for MARTINI in launching two new complementary expressions together. Carefully woven into the intricate design of the MARTINI RISERVA SPECIALE label is the royal arms of the House of Savoy, the Kings of which first protected the term ‘Vermouth di Torino’ to prevent producers outside of the Piemonte region using the name. The new range seeks to boldly recognise and restore this once protected name of origin with other local producers, whereby Vermouth di Torino can only be assigned to expertly crafted vermouth using Italian wines and Artemisia herbs sourced from Piemonte that use the traditional methods and skills of the region.
NEW CRAFTED STYLE OF VERMOUTH
MARTINI RISERVA SPECIALE is a celebration of Piemonte, which begins with sourcing local Italian wines, including small parcels of Langhe DOC Nebbiolo and Moscato d’Asti DOCG. The delicately harvested grapes have been selected by Beppe Musso, MARTINI Master Blender, for their unique and internationally revered depths and flavours, which is essential to the final blending with the aromatic botanical extracts. Demonstrating the creative spirit, dedication and expert craftsmanship of MARTINI, for the first time MARTINI Master Herbalist, Ivano Tonutti, has selected a blend of three different types of local Artemisia that grow in the nearby fields of Pancalieri, Piemonte. Together with our local and trusted partner, Cooperativa Erbe Aromatiche di Pancalieri, we are working to restore the region’s natural environment through regeneration of botanicals that were once cultivated in the past. Roman Chamomile, used in the creation of MARTINI RISERVA SPECIALE AMBRATO, is one example of the aromatic herbs that we have successfully cultivated to ensure the environment is protected for future generations in our on-going quest for sustainability.
These local herbs are then intricately married with exotic botanicals to create a blend that is prepared in the traditional style of the original vermouth. Reinstating the time honoured and traditional methods of the region, the botanical extracts are rested in Piemontese Tino, small oak vats, for a period of over two months. This creates a harmony in the character and taste of our vermouth.
MARTINI RISERVA SPECIALE
The small parcels of full-bodied Langhe DOC Nebbiolo wines used to create MARTINI RISERVA SPECIALE RUBINO are blended with extracts of Italian Holy Thistle and Red Sandalwood from Central Africa to deliver a bright ruby red vermouth, which inspired the name of the expression. The delicate balance of botanicals creates a full-bodied herbal and complex style of Vermouth di Torino with a long aftertaste. The floral and aromatic blend of small parcels of Moscato d’Asti DOCG wines, used
to create MARTINI RISERVA SPECIALE AMBRATO, produces a beautifully honeyed Vermouth di Torino. The yellow Cinchona bark from Ecuador and Chinese Rhubarb create a light-bitter taste profile that aromatises and elevates the flavours of the wines.
Giuseppe Gallo, MARTINI Global Brand Ambassador comments, “With over 150 years of history, MARTINI is proud to launch this new Vermouth di Torino to join its family of vermouths. Looking to the future, MARTINI RISERVA SPECIALE RUBINO and MARTINI RISERVA SPECIALE AMBRATO encapsulate the forward thinking and passion of MARTINI, whilst restoring and respecting the deep understanding and traditional craftsmanship essential to creating a true Vermouth di Torino.”
It’s Negroni Week this week, so here’s some inspirational ideas for you to enjoy in style!
Bar Termini: Superiore, Rosato & Classico by Tony Conigliaro
Rosato Negroni: Rose Petal Infusion
Superiore Negroni: Pink Peppercorn Infusion
The latest bar from internationally renowned drinks pioneer Tony Conigliaro has an impressive list of house Negronis, including the rose infused Rosato with a hint of floral sweetness, and the pink peppercorn infused Superiore which has an added bitterness and spice. Designed to tide you from day to evening like a true Italian whilst whetting your appetite for dinner, Bar Termini’s Negronis come pre-bottled and are served neat in a chilled glass to prevent dilution as you drink.
Bar Termini, 7 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 5JE
New World Negroni
Balthazar: Rogroni by Regal Rogue
37.5ml Regal Rogue Rosso
Stirred over ice in a tumbler with a large orange wedge
Fearlessly handcrafted and blended, Regal Rogue is a testament to artisanal vermouth production, marrying the quality of new world wines with complimentary native herbs and spices from Australia’s outback. Regal Rogue Rosso is fashioned with native wattleseed and pepperberry, thyme and a hint of orange are made even merrier with the flavours of cocoa nibs, cinnamon, ginger and cloves before marrying a fine Australian Semillon with a hint of Shiraz. Perfect on its own over ice or enjoyed in this variation of a Negroni available at Balthazar, a fresher, lighter update to the traditionally bitter Negroni.
For those who take their bar propping and cocktail ordering seriously Luca Missaglia, the new Bar Manager at aqua kyoto, has created a luxurious and contemporary twist on the classic negroni that packs a serious punch. Full-bodied and decadent, this serve is a combination of Campari, Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Home Made Artichoke Liqueur and Absinthe. Separating the men from the boys, this cocktail is for those who can hold their own.
Devised by drinks masterminds Joe Stokoe and Liam Cotter of consultancy Heads, Hearts & Tails, this is a warming and spicy twist on the classic from new rock ‘n’ roll-inspired Mayfair bar Black Dice. Sip on the exotic serve, garnished with orange peel and punchy ginger candy, as you channel your inner rock star in the lavish surroundings of the bar.
If you’re planning on rustling up a Negroni at home take a lead from Alex Kratena, head bartender at Artesian which has been voted best bar in the world for three years in a row: “Lots of our guests tend to order recipes with mezcal in these days, many asking for variations on the classic Negroni which include it. For a twist try the below, our take on the Rosita.”
15ml Sweet vermouth
15ml Dry vermouth
1dash grapefruit bitters
Stir with ice, pour over ice ball and perfume with grapefruit peel, serve with small beer on the side.