Casa Mariol Vermut
Spanish wine and vermouth producer Casa Mariol is helping lead a world-wide revival. With a solid, 100 year history of wine making, Casa Mariol has now produced two versions of it’s popular Vermut: Negre (sweet) and the recently released Blanca (white).
Light, smooth and aromatic, these spirits are perfect for an early afternoon aperitivo. Where Italians enjoy a pre-dinner tipple, in Spain a little midday Vermut is the norm. So with the practice catching on in Australia don’t be surprised if you find yourself reaching for the bottle next time you’re at lunch.
The Secret Recipe
Vermouth has long been shrouded in mystery. People believed the fabled drink was based on a single, ancient recipe of wormwood infused in wine. As it turns out, this may be a lie.
Records show that nations as far apart as China, Egypt and South America have been infusing herbs, roots and spices into wine since at least 6500 BC. Originally used for mysterious, medicinal purposes, it has since grown into a popular aperitivo (meaning appertiser).
Famously used in cocktail making, vermouth is a staple behind any cocktail bar. A key ingredient of the Negroni, the Rob Roy and, of course, the Martini, for a period it was nevertheless forgotten as a stand-alone beverage. Thankfully, there is a vermouth revolution and consumers are enjoying the aperitivo as an alternative to spirits and wine, best sipped in the early afternoon preferably while bathing in the Mediterranean sun, on holidays, in a bikini.
Terra Alta – the highland of Spain
For centuries, people have been tilling the rich, fertile soil of the Mediterranean to produce world-class wine. Terra Alta, located in the warm climate of Catalonia Spain, is a hidden gem. Pablo Picasso himself spent many summers here and his experience of rural life inspired his famous Cubist movement. The art of creating seems to be ingrained in the very earth.
Batea, in the heart of Terra Alta, is an extensive winemaking area. Generation after generation has devoted their life to creating some of the best wines in the World. It seems natural, therefore, for it to be the birthplace of Casa Mariol Vermut.
Chalk and Cheese
While Casa Mariol’s Negre and Blanca share many qualities, they are inherently independent spirits.
The Negre is sweet, rich and mahogany coloured. Infused with an astonishing 150 botanicals, the Vermut Negre is traditionally served on ice with fresh orange and an olive. Casa Mariol uses less caramel for the colour than other brands and instead prefers the traditional method of green walnuts. The flavour is delicately sweet, aromatic and refreshing.
The Vermut Blanca is lighter, foregoing the green walnut colouring, longer and slightly sweeter with much more of a citrus finish. A perfect accompaniment to summery afternoons and tapas, and perfect when a G&T seems too boring and it’s not yet time for a spritzer.
Vermouth has been hiding in plain sight for years. Now, thanks to producers like Casa Mariol, it is finally coming into its own.
Casa Mariol Vermut Blanca
Casablanca Spritz: Ketel One, Casa Mariol Vermut Blanca, Spanish Cava and fresh lemon. Top with soda and garnish with mint and icing sugar.
White Negroni: Casa Mariol Vermut Blanca, Tanqueray Ten Gin, Suze and fresh lemon. Garnish with a lemon twist and an olive.
Casa Mariol Vermut Negre
The Phil Collins: Ketel One Citron, Casa Mariol Vermut Negre, burnt lemon, sugar syrup, a Fernet Branca rinse and a splash of soda.
Classic Negre: Casa Mariol Vermut Negre on ice. Top with soda and garnish with a slice of orange and an olive.