$63.99 price per bottle
Nothing requires more precision than making vermouth. The flaws are easily perceptible and almost impossible to fix because the way the botanicals interlace. If a ratio is wrong, the entire drink loses its balance. The most practiced fix is to add more sweetener to mask the imperfections. Or you can just do it right the first time. Welcome to the world of Armadillo Cake. Armadillo Cake isn’t sweet. And frankly, it’s not that bitter either. We create it in small batches, precisely and deliberately, and we don’t leave room for mistakes. Instead of processed sugar we use a dark caramel, hand-spun from earthy Indian Muscovado by an artisan chocolatier. We’ve got some herbs and barks traditionally used in red vermouths like cardamom and quassia, but Armadillo Cake features a blend of roots, spices, flowers, seeds and pods that you won’t find in any other product — think wild celery, Japanese shitake, and nigella. The bitters are in there too, but they don’t hang on your tongue or sully your drink — they just tap on through, adding a little flicker of tart in a mouthful of aromatics, herbs and spices. We let it all cold steep bit by bit, so the final product is intricate and special — we don’t make a lot, and we only keep what’s perfect. Producer Atsby Vermouth is the inspiration of a boozehound and cultural history geek, Adam Ford, who had the vision of bringing the romance of vermouth back to America. Vermouth, he believed, had the potential to be the perfect drink. Wine with brandy? Fragrant herbs and aromatic spices? A whisper of sweet? Sublime. Perfection. He couldn’t understand why the stuff wasn’t being gulped down by the bottle. The simple answer is that the execution wasn’t living up to the theory. The European vermouths stocking our shelves and bars are based on outdated knowledge and old recipes. Those vermouths are good – the old recipes yielded transcendent drinks enjoyed by emperors and kings, the aristocracy and nobility throughout the ages. But vermouth production has historically been based on the assumption that all the alchemy was in the secret mix of botanicals, hence the use of bland ingredients, such as neutral wine, flavorless spirits, and simple sweeteners. Atsby sought to create a new American vermouth using artisanal ingredients and a respect for terroir. Working closely with a certified sommelier, Adam applied 21st century knowledge of wine, spirits, herbs, and food to upgrade an old faithful mixer into a modern vibrant beverage in itself. Enter Atsby. Learned tradition, daring revision.
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