Paul Bowler at Winchester Distillery has been busy recently with the addition of Twisted Nose Wasabi Vodka, a Twisted Nose Barrel Aged Gin and now Twisted Nose Extra Dry Vermouth to their portfolio of handcrafted small-batch spirits.
Edit 04/06/18: as far as I am aware Twisted Nose Vermouth has now been discontinued.
Basically, a vermouth is a an “aromatized” wine which is then fortified. This means that the wine is flavoured (or aromatized) with various botanicals, and then fortified with Twisted Nose Gin to an ABV of 16%. In this case the white wine comes from Danebury Vineyards located near Stockbridge, Hampshire and it is flavoured with 18 botanicals. Obviously the exact botanicals are a trade secret but they include wormwood (the name Vermouth derives the French pronunciation of the German word for wormwood), rose petals and other roots, barks and herbs. I am not 100% certain but I assume that the botanicals are simply macerated in the wine with the addition of the gin. Even though this is an Extra Dry Vermouth, it is slightly sweetened with caramelised cane sugar, however it still has a very dry finish.
Tasting Notes – Very nice, clear, golden colour. It has an aromatic, sweet, fruity nose with aromas of floral, rose petal notes, vinous notes and apricot aromas. There are also woody, herbaceous notes. The palate is fruity and delicate with good fruity notes in the mid-palate and desirable bitter notes on the lingering finish. Initially is seems quite sweet but does finish very dry.
Obviously this could can be used on occasion or in any cocktail recipe that a dry Vermouth is required for. Try it in in a Gin Martini using Twisted Nose Gin (naturally), in a Manhattan or in one of my favourites cocktails, the Negroni. In the summer months this would also make a fantastic long drink, over ice, topped up with tonic or soda water and garnished with a bit of pink grapefruit. Try the Hampshire Martini, recipe from Winchester Distillery,
Pour the gin, vermouth and bitters into a mixing glass with ice cubes, stir well and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the grapefruit zest after first twisting over the glass to spray the oils over the drink.