Mancino Bianco Vermouth
Our new friends at Fasel Shenstone recently sent us several bottles of their artisanal fortified wines, and we took that as the perfect opportunity to place an addendum on our earliest set of posts, a vermouth tournament.
Today we have an epic battle of two sweet white aromatized wines. In one corner, we have the overall champion of our earlier vermouth tournament, Cocchi Americano. In the other corner, we have the challenger, Fasel Shenstone’s entry into the race, Mancino Bianco.
Thus far, all of the vermouths Fasel Shenstone has sent us have been Spanish, made in the traditional method from longstanding bodegas. Mancino is Italian, designed by a contemporary bartender. Nonetheless, we can understand why it’s here. It was painstakingly designed to match traditional methods, and it’s utterly gorgeous.
Mancino Bianco and Cocchi Americano are quite similar to one another. They’re both sweet, delicate, light, and utterly delicious. You could drink them for days–you’ll want to, and their light flavor and low-ish alcohol content almost make it possible. They both present a nice dry-sweet balance, with quiet but not unnoticed botanicals. The difference between them is subtle. To our mouths at least, Cocchi is sweet throughout, with a finish of feint baking spices. Mancino, on the other hand, starts a hair more dry, and finishes with a slightly bitter fruit flavor, just a hint of grapefruit peel perhaps.
They’re both lovely. We can’t take the belt away from Cocchi Americano, but we look forward to a Rocky II style rematch when Mancino wins the day. It seems unnecessary to stock them both in your fridge (you keep these things in your fridge, right?) seeing how similar they are. Mancino, though, is well worth the taste. Since it’s quite a bit rarer on American liquor shelves, if you notice it, you should grab it.
Mancino or Cocchi are the right things to use for any classic cocktail that calls for Kina Lillet; they’re both quite a bit more subtle than modern white Lillet. James Bond’s favorite drink, the Vesper, is the prime example. They also both taste great simply on the rocks, maybe with a dash of bitters.
Bianco & Bitters Drink Recipe
- 3 oz vermouth blanc (aka bianco)–we’d highly recommend Mancino or Cocchi Americano
- a dash of bitters–if it’s Mancino, make them peach; if it’s Cocchi, make them aromatic
- Pour the vermouth over ice in an old fashioned glass.
- Shake the dash of bitters on the top.