It’s been a while since I last told y’all about a vermouth. Let’s change that, courtesy of the rather charming specimen below: La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge. It has a very long name and a very handsome bottle.
If you’re a vermouth geek, another thing that might catch your attention is the fact that the stuff is fortified (ie. its alcohol content is increased) by the addition of Pineau des Charentes rather than a neutral spirit of the kind more usually employed by those who cook up vermouths.
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Here we are again for another instalment of COMMUTER BELTERS, my quest to find the booze best matched to the knees-rammed-against-plastic pleasures of southwestern railways.
This time, emboldened mayhap by our liaison with M&S gin-in-a-tin, let’s push the boat out a little further into the treacherous seas of M&S’s canned booze range — to their Vermouth & Tonic.
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Well, it’s been a while since I hoofed a vermouth review in your direction, so let’s change that. Like Asterley Bros, it’s another English vermouth, but this time white not red: Blackdown Silver Birch Vermouth.
As it happens, Blackdown’s vermouth (£20.25, The Whisky Exchange) is made not so very far from me, nestling in neighbouring Sussex’s portion of the South Downs. The titular reference to silver birch? It’s because the base wine is made from the sap of the birch trees growing around the distillery. Apparently, getting that sap is a pain in the arse, with each tree yielding a very small amount. According to Blackdown’s website: ‘In 2017 we tapped over 300 trees, with an average tree providing 5 gallons a day collecting over 1,500 gallons producing 15 gallons of pure syrup’.
So I shalln’t be setting out to make silver birch wine any time soon.
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Nordesia Red Vermouth may initially get you a few weird looks at a party. But those looks will quickly turn worshipful when the buggers actually try the stuff, I’ll warrant.
I blame the Asterley Brothers.
Ever since I snagged that bottle of their English Red Vermouth, I’ve been mildly obsessed with seeking out new (to me) vermouths.
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Many things are nicer than a bout of labyrinthitis-induced vertigo. Asterley Bros English Vermouth is one such thing. You possibly shouldn’t drink this until your room spins, but far be it from me to dissuade you… It’s bloody good.
What’s worse than a hangover? I’ll tell you: the symptoms of a hangover (the absolute worst kind), lasting for days, without the benefit of actually having been drunk beforehand.
Reader, welcome to the world of labyrinthitis.
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