January Vermouth Round Up
Updated: Mar 3, 2021
With most of January spent digging into the category of non-alcoholic spirits and products, I wasn't able to crack into much vermouth. Luckily, the little bit I did explore was delicious enough to get me through the month.
Reader donations (via the subtle PayPal link at the bottom of the page *wink*) go directly toward buying new vermouth to round out these guides. In the past I've simply updated the tasting notes as I acquire new bottles, but moving forward I'll also be highlighting the fortified wines I pick up in monthly round-ups like this one.
Unlike my tasting guides which are a straight-forward resource, this is where I'll dig into and detail how I enjoyed drinking and mixing with each new bottle.
If you're new to the world of vermouth, check out my Introduction to Vermouth post to learn some basics, introduce yourself to some of the terminology used, and get a general overview of how these guides are structured (and why). Then join me back here to get into the details!
Wine Base: N/A
Known Botanicals: N/A, wormwood
Nose: gentian, orange, lemon, clove, cinchona, cinnamon, apple, raisin, juniper, banana
Palate: orange, lemon, cinnamon, clove, hay, apple, cranberry, green cardamom, gentian
Finish: orange, vanilla, clove, mushroom, lemon, cinchona, raisin, straw, fennel
Additional Notes: Rich amber color. Similar to the Maurin Dry, but obviously more robust on account of the higher sugar content. Has the most movement on the palate of any Maurin aromatized wine, making for a particularly interesting expression. Works well in cocktails.
Probably my favorite Maurin product. As soon as you crack the top you'll be greeted with a familiar Maurin nose, but unlike the dry, rouge, and quina, I find the palate to be exceptionally interesting with lots of complexity and movement.
Makes for tasty simple serves with soda and tonic. Worked very well in a flip without the need for additional sugar. An Improved Vermouth Cocktail was obvious and delicious, but the highlight was an El Presidente made with Denizen 3 year white rum. I bought that rum for daiquiris, but ended up using much of it repeating the stirred Cuban classic over and over.
Txurrut Basque Vermut
Wine Base: Hondarrabi Zuri
Known Botanicals: at least 20, wormwood, fennel, juniper, vanilla, walnut, rose petal
Nose: sandalwood, cinnamon, vanilla, cinchona, raisin, ginger
Palate: cinchona, rhubarb, cinnamon, vanilla, orange, lemon, cedar, fig, cherry
Finish: cinchona, clove, vanilla, orange, raisin, rhubarb, ash, licorice, sea salt
Additional Notes: Reddish-brown appearance. Bright, racy acidity with quinine bitterness on the palate. Medium body with some salinity and minerality most prominent on the finish. Dilution highlights the cinchona, vanilla, and cinnamon.
This was a fun find. Txurrut is based on Txakoli wine, a dry style of wine produced in the Basque region of Spain characterized by its high acidity and mild effervescence. That acidity translates directly to the vermouth and makes for a bright, highly versatile expression. A lot f Spanish vermouth draws favorable comparison to sherry, usually on account of the wine base, and this is no exception. In fact, more so than most other Spanish sweet vermouth, Txurrut really straddles the line between vermouth and a high acid sherry.
Delicious on its own or served simply with soda or tonic. It works wonderfully in a Manhattan, ensuring that it never gets heavy as it sits and warms, instead remaining bright and punchy from start to finish. A Vermut caldo (hot water and vermouth) tastes like a hot spiced apple cider - perfect for these winter months.
Because of the sherry-like acidity, it also made for one of the best simple flips I've had in a long time: just shake an egg and 2 oz of Txurrut together for a wonderfully nutty and spiced, perfectly balanced flip with minimal effort.
Check the individual regional Vermouth guides for more detailed information on regional styles and recommended bottles:
Sweet White Vermouth
Sweet Red Vermouth
Quinquina and Americano
Please send any updates or corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org.