Do you know what a vermouth is? No? I didn’t either. Not until I went along to a masterclass a couple of weeks ago.
Vermouth was extremely popular way back when, and has started to see a slight comeback with the cocktail industry booming, and vermouth making a great cocktail ingredient. If you think about, wherever there’s a cocktail menu there’s normally some sort of cocktail containing vermouth, whether it’s a martini, negroni or another creative concoction.
So I’d seen it around, but still didn’t know what it was – a liquor? spirit?
Regal Rogue, a pretty new vermouth brand to the UK market, held a masterclass at Drake & Morgan in Kings Cross a couple of weeks ago, so I went along with one of my friends to check it out. I have to say, I am quite inquisitive when it comes to new drinks.
We were welcomed with a long drink, a vermouth and tonic which was really refreshing, with quite a subtle yet almost slightly citrus taste, it went down very well.
We got to meet Lord Ward, an extremely charismatic, friendly and passionate guy who founded the brand in Australia. His excitement and love of his drink really shone through and added to the anticipation of the tasting.
Lord Ward took us through the story of the brand and exactly what a vermouth is, before going through a full tasting of all four of the different varieties regal rogue offers – Lively White, Daring Dry, Wild Rose and Bold Red.
There are three things which make the drink a vermouth – it must contain at least 75% wine, it has to be between 15 and 24% ABV, and must be fortified and flavoured with botanicals.
For every varietal, we were taken through the botanicals used to infuse the wine, and little pots of the dried botanicals were passed round for us to smell. We also discussed the flavours which came through when we tasted the vermouth. As every one has different taste buds, it does make it quite interesting.
My favourite of the four has to be the Lively White, slightly citrus, yet not too strong, really refreshing, it could easily be drank over ice but is just as nice with tonic water.
We had to dash after the tasting, but the others all stayed for another cocktail and time to chat with Lord Ward. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening masterclass, learnt so much and might have just found my new favourite drink, who’d have thought it?
I’m hoping they do another masterclass so you can all go along and experience it for yoursleves too! Trust me, it’s highly worth it. Keep an eye on their Twitter page for up to date news, I know I will be!
Will be off to buy a bottle from The Whisky Exchange for this weekend too I think. Just hooked!
Have you tried Regal Rogue yet? What’s your favourite drink of the moment?