The first Vermouth of Alto Piemonte!
“Only the true remain alive and return when fashion passes.”
This is what is happening with Vermouth today. Once it was the must-have drink in bars and in the showcases of the Italian living rooms – a warm welcome offered by the landlord and suitable for every occasion. However, with the arrival of the 70s and the spread of the first overseas fashions, new American school products replaced it and our flavored wine became the Cinderella of the bars, rejected and considered a legacy of a bygone era. Today, though, thanks to the success of the latest artisanal products and their use in mixology, Vermouth has made its way back into the world of wine and spirits, from the aperitivo, to dinner and after dinner.
What is vermouth?
Vermouth is the aromatized wine made in Italy, the father of all aperitifs, a true status symbol of the early 1900s. Born as a digestive in 1786, at the Marandazzo liquoreria in Piazza Castello in Turin, thanks to Benedetto Carpano, who decided to flavor a wine made with Canelli Muscat with an infusion of spices and herbs.
Vermouth is an aromatic wine, white or red, made with 75% of wine, water, alcohol, spices, herbs and sugar and even if the name Vermouth (vermout, vermutte or vèrmot) can be misleading, it is 100% an Italian invention. Its name is, in fact, a French adaptation of the German term Wermut that indicates the plant of Artemisia absinthium or pontica, the Wormwood, a necessary and inevitable ingredient to call Vermouth this magical drink. Absinthe is nothing more than the first ingredient of a large group of aromatic herbs and spices. For the production we get to use well over forty herbs and spices including roots of gentian, cinnamon, china, coriander, tonka bean, nutmeg, vanilla, and their use is calibrated to give life to a unique recipe, which the producer secretly guards.
The Vermouth of Alto Piemonte
On the shores of Lake Orta, the jewel of Alto Piemonte, the passion for artisanal and vintage products such as Vermouth, Amari and Bitter, gave life to Glep.
Glep is the new adventure of Ezio Primatesta, an entrepreneur in the hotel industry, Luca Garofalo, graphic designer, have their initials to combine perfectly with the logo. Together they contact Bordiga, a popular distillery in the Cuneo area, which still uses the wood-burning alembic today, and together they elaborate the perfect recipe for Vandalo, their red Vermouth.
On the label is a lacustrine panther, fluid sinuous, elegant and refined. It has grown on the street but it’s educated and can adapt to every situation. A panther who foretells his refined tenacity. Vandal is the name of this vermouth and at the first sip, like a barbarian, perpetrates profitable massacres. His pleasure invades the palate and opens the way for an elixir that seems to have the desire to never stop being drunk. Its profile is distinctly sharp, the bitter note of artemisia is present more than ever, but it also leaves room for the most balsamic traits of medical herbs, and the sweet but never invasive notes of cinnamon, vanilla, and cocoa.
Great for a classic Negroni, based on London Dry Gin and “Spinto“ bitter, the other product together with the bitter “Grinta“ made by Glep, a sharp and herbaceous bitter enough to combine perfectly with the cheeky and resolute personality of this Vermouth.
Let’s have a Negroni Vandalo!
- 1/3 (3 cl) of Gin
- 1/3 (3 cl) of Spinto bitter
- 1/3 (3 cl) of Vandalo vermouth
- Orange slice
It is prepared directly in the glass. Pour some ice into a low tumbler, cool it down, drain the water, pour all the ingredients and then stir. Complete with a slice of orange.
What if you’d like to drink the Spinto Vemouth as is?
Well, it should be served cold, 6-8 °, smooth or added with water or ice, and a lemon zest. However, another way through which to approach this magical wine is to taste it by replicating the tradition of “Piedmontese vermuttino“, in vogue in the Turin of Belle Époque, thus serving it in a small liberty glass with a splash of soda and a peel of lemon. Vermuttino is a fresh and refreshing approach to Vermouth
Which glass should I use?
To get a perfect tasting it is not necessary to look very far: it would be enough to brush up the glasses from the past, in which a special position was reserved for small glasses finely decorated with elegant designs and golden threads.
How to store it?
We must always remember that Vermouth is a wine and once opened it must be kept in the fridge to avoid oxidation and loss of aromas; the bottle must also be finished in fairly short times, in a period ranging from 30 days to a maximum of two months, so that the Vermouth does not lose all its fragrance. If kept in its bottle, just like wine, Vermouth will undergo interesting changes.
The products of Glep and especially the Vandalo Vermouth today enrich the gourmet side of Lake Orta and of our precious territory that becomes the expression of an Italianita that is finally taking back its righteous place.
– Until next time, With love!