DRINK OF THE WEEK
A vermouth in a class of its own
Bodegas Robles VRMT Vermut de Robles NV 15%
RRP: €32.00 (1 litre). Manning’s , Ballylickey// Toon’s Bridge Dairy// Good Food Store, Dublin//Wunderkaffee Farran and Connemara Hamper, Clifden. Mary Pawle Wines
Bodegas Robles and Michelin-starred chef Paco Morales have certainly crafted a vermouth that is as complex and enticing as it is delicious. Combining the aromas and flavours of times past and present. And it is imported to Ireland by Mary Pawles wines. The base is Robles’ 8-year-old Oloroso, and then later a light touch of the PX is added..
Amazing aromas with strong hints of the Oloroso sherry base and a “top-up” of Pedro Ximenez, an appealing blend of freshness and maturity. The ten aromatic plants foraged in the locality have their say. An amazing liquid with a superb balance of sweetness and bitterness with the acidity playing a key role as the symphony of flavour plays on and on to the heavenly finalé.
|Negroni. Image by eKokki from Pixabay
The aromatic plants add a sense of terroir, and also a burst of freshness and herbal complexity while other Paco additions such as clove and cinnamon echo the ancient cuisine of the Moorish Al-Andalus period (8th -15th century), all adding to the sense that this is indeed a special one. Step into the time capsule and take off!
The producers say it is “A good pairing for nuts, fruits such as orange or lemon, a cheese and raspberry cake., Any seafood and all kinds of fish: tuna, cod, salmon, anchovies., It's perfect with sweet flavors, especially those with more sweet and dark flavour., Olives, cheeses, ham, sausages, smoked meats, mussels, clams.”
It is certainly versatile. Enjoy on its own or with fresh orange juice and ice as an apéritif (try the same with Campari). It can also be used as a base for cocktails, such as the Negroni or the Manhattan.
Image by Gerhard Bögner via Pixabay
Cocktails are one of the first things you think about when you have a vermouth on hand. But I have found that some don't do justice to the Robles creation. I felt I had to change the forever formula for the Negroni. And, after a few experiments, determined that VRMT (40ml), Campari (30ml) and Gin (20ml) worked best for me!
The Manhattan, this based on the Rye and Malt (raised in Bourbon barrels) at Method and Madness, Irish Distillers' micro in Midleton, worked well with the regular recipe (though I did throw in a cap full of Campari as there were no bitters in the house!)
Get a bottle of the VRMT for yourself and enjoy the experimenting!