21st March is Vermouth Day, founded by renowned mixologist Giancarlo Mancino in 2020, an opportunity to bring the bar community together and celebrate the spirit.
Cucielo Vermouth is launched in 2018 by Artisan Spirits CEO Andy Holmes, bringing traditional Vermouth di Torino to a modern generation.
The Vermouth di Torino style is so respected that it was recently protected by EU law in 2017 as a DOC appellation and recognised for its provenance.
The brand’s motto is IL TEMPO VOLA, Italian for ‘time flies’. It’s about taking special moments with loved ones, raising a glass.
Originates from Italy’s Piedmont region, an alpine area surrounding Turin
The brand created two varieties of Vermouth di Torino – in Rosso and Bianco
Cucielo Vermouth di Torino is bottled at 16.8% to allow versatility and the style of the Vermouth to shine in classic or aperitivo cocktails
Their mantra is to work in harmony with the environment: using only naturally sourced botanicals and all production is either being made from renewable sources or 100% recyclable
Available (Malaysia) to buy from Single & Available and online, as well as selected retail and supermarket stores
What is the big deal?
Vermouth has been more popular in recent years due to a growing appreciation for aperitivos. Complex and alluring, Vermouth is back in style, and it’s quickly becoming the most sophisticated serve of 2022. The essential beauty of Vermouth, however, is its adaptability: it can be savoured over ice and the many classic cocktails in which it serves as a faithful supporting role. To assist bartenders and drink fans in navigating the complexity of Vermouth, we spoke with Murray Anderson, Cucielo Vermouth Brand Digital Associate.
Table Talk with Murray Anderson, Cucielo Vermouth Brand Digital Associate
What is it about Vermouth that is still appealing worldwide, even after three centuries later?
When it was invented is a bit difficult, as some articles give different dates. The most famous piece of evidence comes from two brothers in Milan, Italy. Antonio and Bernadetto Carpano were the creators of ‘modern vermouth’ in 1786. Vermouth is an aromatised, fortified wine. This sounds complicated, but it’s pretty simple actually.
What makes a vermouth a vermouth?
Firstly, Vermouth MUST include Wormwood, similar to what juniper berries are to gin. The aromatised part comes from the botanical infusion created. This is your blend of herbs and botanicals that infuse in neutral alcohol to extract their flavour. The fortified part comes from the addition of this alcohol and some sugar. This increases the alcoholic percentage and thus, creates fortified wine. The infusion is then added to your wine base, which creates your Vermouth!
What makes a Vermouth classified as Vermouth di Torino style?
For a Vermouth to be called a Vermouth di Torino it must be an aromatised wine, crafted in Piedmont using only Italian wines, fortified with alcohol, and have the predominant flavour of Artemisia, aka woodworm, sourced from the Piedmont region in Northern Italy, together with other herbs and spices.
The final bottle strength must be above 16% and be bottled in Piedmont.
How did Vermouth become such an integral part of so many cocktails?
Vermouth mainly was enjoyed on its own when it was first invented. People understood that it provided fantastic flavours in modern cocktails as time went on. Personally, I see it as that missing ingredient in cocktails… If a drink feels like it’s missing something, I always enjoy adding a splash of CUCIELO Bianco or Rosso to the drink to round it off/balance the drink.
What should bartenders know about using Cucielo Vermouth in their cocktails?
Cucielo Vermouth di Torino is packed with flavour. Cucielo Rosso tends to lean towards richer flavours like caramelised orange peel, rhubarb, vanilla and clove. In contrast, Cucielo Bianco leans towards lighter, summer flavours like elderflower, green apple and pomegranate.
Both products are fantastic additions and can help balance a cocktail whilst also adding in a lot of complimenting flavour profiles.
How do you store Vermouth properly?
Once opened, Vermouth should always be kept in the fridge – similar to wine. The higher alcohol percentage helps it to stay fresh for longer, but once opened, we usually recommend it is consumed within a couple of months to avoid any oxidation/loss in quality.
Any tips for bartenders on how to start exploring Cucielo in their cocktails?
Let your creativity flow with Cucielo! There is no right or wrong way to serve our product. Yes, we have our perfect serves and we have our preference to how we enjoy it. But when creating cocktails, try Cucielo on its own and let its flavour guide you to creating your own amazing drinks!
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