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2023 Author: Cody Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 11:20
The tranquilizers in striped aprons and flowing beards who serve frugal but playful dishes on stones placed on light wooden tables, that is, the chefs who are the protagonists of the "ny nordiske kokken" (new Nordic cuisine), from Rene Redzepi down, are your bread ?
Well, the vermouth (or vermouth) you might like it.
Aren't the "haute-Nordic" culinary experience, especially those Scandinavian tasting menus full of horseradish, blackthorn berries, beech leaves, oysters from the Limfjorden canal, pike-perch and all contemporary cuisine your cup of tea?
Well, vermouth (or vermouth) might like you too.
Modern but with vintage nuances, old but not forgotten, at most fallen into oblivion of memory for a few decades, the made in Italy fortified wine prince of aperitifs but born as a digestive in 1786, inside the liquoreria in Piazza Castello in Turin at the hands of Benedetto Carpano, is experiencing a great comeback thanks to the success of the handcrafted vermouths.
The name comes from the German wermut which indicates mugwort, a medicinal herb widespread in Piedmont, the main ingredient along with gentian. By vermouth we mean a product composed of 75% wine, flavored with an infusion of alcohol, sugar, spices and various botanicals (the elements used to flavor).
Absinthe is a must, often present with cinnamon, cardamom, cinchona, coriander, tonka beans, marrobbio, nutmeg, rhubarb, vanilla and who knows how many others (there are over 40 botanicals).
In general, herbs and spices remain to macerate for a month, then the extract is mixed with alcohol and combined with the wine. After another 6 months the vermouth is ready.
“ The Vermouth of Turin ”By Arnaldo Strucchi from 1906, still today a text of absolute value, tells of the first generation of Piedmontese wormers infected by the success of Carpano: Martini & Rossi, Cora, Cinzano, Ballor, Calissano, Gancia, Anselmo.
Skilled in transforming the "fortified liquor" into a protagonist of the bars with the help of the famous posters made by the great designers of the time.
With the advent of the cocktail vermouth becomes a fundamental ingredient of the great classics, but it is worth getting away from it Negroni, Manhattan or Martini Cocktail to try drinking it alone or on the rocks.
In Turin, to relive those pioneering times, visit Palazzo Rossi di Montelera (formerly the Martini & Rossi headquarters) in corso Vittorio Emanuele II - formerly called corso del vermouth - and obviously Palazzo Carpano (formerly the Carpano headquarters), in via Maria Vittoria.
Bogianen, the tourist guides of Turin, also offers a vermouth tour with tales of the origins of the glorious Italian flavored wine and visits to historic bars, such as Mulassano, or to the new trendy bars of San Salvario.
Just outside Turin, in Pessione (Chieri), you can visit Martini & Rossi with the original workshops now a museum, similar to how they were in 1864, the year of production with Vermouth Rosso, followed by Bianco, Rosè, Dry and Extra Dry, types that define the alcohol content and sugar content.
Which ones to drink, it is now difficult to say, in recent years there have been a lot of them.
You are on the safe side with the Carpano Ancient formula, the same mass in 1786, if you prefer white it is not to be missed, especially with chocolate Americano by Cocchi, national glory well known abroad, and the White Vermouth from Prato, provided you find it.
But for some years now, young entrepreneurs and small specialized labels have multiplied, displaying exceptional products as it happened to the pioneers of craft beer twenty years ago.
A kind of craft vermouth fever mainly triggered by the great barmen with recipes that combine tradition and modern taste, as well as a frenzied research on botanicals (excluding coca leaves, used in the past even in purity).
In this way, ancient brands are reborn or reinvigorated and Vermouth Bars or small businesses with a few thousand bottles are born, which find a market first of all in the East and in the United States, but also in Italy.
To take advantage of the second youth of this pride of Italian liquor, here are some names.
Giancarlo Macino, 36, is a great barman of Lucanian origin who produces his own line of artisanal vermouths in a family business in Canelli (Asti) in three exceptional versions: Rosso Amaranto, Bianco Ambrato and Secco.
Vermouth di Torino produced under the aegis of Carlo Quaglia, a well-known Piedmontese distiller, together with one of the best Italian cocktail bars, the Jerry Thomas Speakeasy in Rome (Jerry Thomas is considered the pioneer in mixed drinking in the USA, often nicknamed "The Professor "). Two products: Classic White and Red.
Turin winery that produces still and sparkling wines revived the ancient production of vermouth in 2011, resulting in the first genuine Turin Vermouth (protected designation of origin). It produces Storico Vermouth di Torino (red) and Vermouth Amaro.
Refined food and wine project developed in Prato since 1999 first with the restaurant-wine shop "Alla Gusteria" then with a line of jams, mustards and jellies. Since 2013, the production of Vermouth Bianco di Prato has been added in the factory adjacent to the restaurant.
A Piedmontese winery from Cocconato known for Barolo that has reactivated the production of the red, delicate and exceptionally good Vermouth Classico.
Ultra limited production, innovative vermouth in color and packaging created by Stefano di Dio and Oscar Quagliarini, perhaps the most famous bartender in Italy (who remembers him at the Rebelot in Milan), with the advice of Oreste Sconfienza, proverbial wormer of the house alla Canellese, a real temple of aromatized wine in the Asti area. Very low sugar content and 18% alcohol by volume. Dry and beautifully aromatic, it is also available in a spray version.