Albourne Estate in Sussex has launched the first Sussex vermouth, as the resurgence of the aromatised fortified wine that originates from Italy continues to build.
The Albourne Estate 40 Semi-Dry Vermouth was made with forty diverse botanicals, including rosemary, thyme, rose petals and chamomile – alongside citrus peels, more exotic spices such as saffron and cardamom and the unexpected - coffee beans and tea.
Alison explains that while many producers have diversified their ranges with spirits, in particular, gin, she sees vermouth is as the perfect fit for an English winemaker, with the legal requirement that vermouth contains at least 75% of grape-derived wine.
“Recently most of the launches from small drinks producers have been in gin. But vermouth makes much more sense for us as a wine producer as it is wine based, fits well with our range and is delicious to drink,” she says.
Albourne 40 uses matured Albourne Estate base wines, blended with the botanicals and sugar before being fortified to 18% alcohol volume. Distinctive in its appearance, the resulting wine is the outcome of extensive development with input from Italian wine consultant Salvatore Leone. The resulting product is designed to be enjoyed on its own, but Alison and her team have also put together a range of delicious sounding cocktails.
“Our mission is to remind people to really appreciate the blend of botanicals by drinking vermouth straight. Many people will be enthusiastic once this is re-discovered and pairing 40 with food will be a big part of this.
We are using cocktail ideas on the 40’s neck tags and in-store tastings with food pairings such as with nuts, salami, prosciutto and strong cheeses like gorgonzola.”
We’re already huge fans of owner Alison Nightingale's delicious still and sparkling wines, having been particularly fond of last year's Albourne Estate Blanc de Blancs 2013 and so look forward to our first tasting of this delicious sounding vermouth.
To order 40 at £20 for 70cl visit www.albourneestate.co.uk
- Elegant Dry Negroni - 50ml of 40, 25ml of a good quality gin and 25ml Campari.
- English Spritz – one part 40, three parts sparkling English wine, such as the Albourne Estate Blanc de Blancs.
- English Rose – Albourne Estate’s own cocktail recipe - 50ml of 40, 25ml of a good quality gin, 150ml quality tonic water, a splash of rose water, optional sugar syrup to taste and a sprinkling of dried rose petals.
- The Elderflower – 75ml of 40, 75ml elderflower presse, 25ml gin and a dash of Angostura Bitter served over ice and with a slice of apple.
- Alternatively, 40 can be drunk straight, with or without ice.