*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as originally published in The Weekly Dig
by Pink Lady
It’s no secret that the ladies of LUPEC love vermouth. We like it poured with a heavy hand in our martinis and our Hearst’s. We have also been known to enjoy it on the rocks with a twist of lemon, orange wheel or even an olive.
A recent excursion to the left coast landed this LUPEC lady at Sutton Cellars, a winery in downtown San Francisco. Though the winery is basically a one-room operation with concrete floors and walls, a small room off the cask-filled space is Sutton’s vermouth lab. Jars filled with infusing botanicals line the walls, and the aroma of dried flowers fills the room. We sampled the freshest vermouth we’d ever tasted there, literally minutes after it was blended.
Vermouth is a special category of aperitifs that takes its name from the German word for wormwood, “wermut,” and is essentially an aromatized wine that has been fortified and flavored with herbs, roots, bark and flowers. Whether red or white in color, white wine is usually used as the base, with color imparted in the vermouth by botanicals.
Sutton’s vermouth is based on neutral white wine, fortified with unaged brandy, and flavored with a proprietary blend of 17 different botanicals. The most prominent among these is chamomile, making for a vermouth that is elegant and floral, with a little citrus kick.
Fortunately for us, Sutton Cellars vermouth is available in the Boston area, too. Hit up Dave’s Fresh Pasta or Central Bottle Wine in Cambridge to sample a bottle. Try it in a martini or on its own to whet your appetite before the dinner hour.
2 oz Sutton Cellars vermouth
Build over rocks in an old fashioned glass and a twist of lemon or orange.