La Quintinye: The Resurgence of Vermouth
Vermouth really doesn’t get the acclaim it deserves. The spirit made from fortified wine and a blend of botanicals is the backbone for so many of the cocktails we know and love, but always plays second fiddle to the primary ingredient. It’s surprising how many people I talk to that have no idea what vermouth is but love to order a Martini, Negroni, or Manhattan at their favourite bar.
But 2014 may well be the year that vermouth is no longer the bridesmaid and finally gets the dues it deserves for making our favourite drinks so darn tasty. The first brand to step into the limelight is La Quintinye Vermouth Royal, a drink that has been created from a 450 year recipe under the watchful eyes of master distiller Jean-Sebastien Robicquet on the family estate in Villevert, France. La Quintinye takes its name from 16th Century Botanist to King Louis XIV, Jean-Baptiste de La Quintinye, creator of the Kitchen Gardens at the Palace of Versailles, and renowned for his love of fruit and vegetable production.
Available in 3 varieties; Extra Dry, Blanc, and Rouge- all 3 La Quintinye vermouths have distinctive qualities that will give their respective cocktails a unique kick. The spice and vanilla flavours from the Rouge make for an incredible Negroni, but can also be sipped neat as an aperitif. Blanc and Extra Dry aren’t so good for sipping, but make Martinis to suit the sweet or dry palette respectively.
“We strive to create exceptional spirits that are distinctive in character and based around the vine and wines, with flavour combinations which are unique to us”
-Jean-Sébastien Robicquet, Master Distiller of La Quintinye.
Having met Jean-Sebastien at the brand’s worldwide launch, it’s difficult not to get excited about the future of vermouth. Attitudes are slowly changing, and judging by the lavish, regal affair in London’s Café Royal Hotel, we could be hearing a lot more about boutique vermouth in the upcoming months. Coming to a bar back and martini near you soon!