The Christmas List: Storico Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
As we write this post, people are wrestling one another in WalMart for the last item in stock of an unbelievable deal on the new XBox. That can only mean one thing: Christmas shopping season has officially begun. In light of that, we’ll be using this week’s posts to feature our holiday gift suggestions for the cocktail lover in your life.
A couple of days ago we spoke about how the current movement of local distilling brings us back to the pre-Amazon experience of being a collector, where rare, limited, hard to find items are searched for, crowed over, and shared. But what if you don’t live in an area where local distilling has yet taken hold? Is there still a way to buy your cocktail-loving friend something unusual and unexpected?
We have a suggestion for you.
It’s little known and often overlooked, but Storico Cocchi Vermouth di Torino is hidden in plain sight in the vermouth section of almost any decent liquor store anywhere. We’ve raved from the beginning (and here too) about Cocchi di Torino’s sister aperitif, Cocchi Americano. Recently, we can’t stop talking about the Torino (here and here and here). We think it’s the perfect holiday gift bottle, for a number of reasons:
- Your friend probably doesn’t have it–like we said, though it’s widely available, it’s not terribly well-known. Your friend is probably familiar with Cocchi Americano, but might very well be surprised to discover there’s another variety;
- Your friend almost certainly will love it–its spicy, fruity, slightly bitter flavor is both unique and easy to like;
- It’s the most delicious history lesson ever--for its 120th Anniversary (now 125 years ago) Cocchi released the Torino according to their original 1891 recipe. It’s a rare taste of what sweet vermouths tasted like in the years when cocktails were first being created. What did the originators of cocktails have in mind when they suggested using an Italian vermouth? Now you know. It’s less sour, more bitter, and has more root flavor than modern ones, by the way;
- It’s not even that expensive--for how special it will feel, it’s a bargain at around $20-$25, well on the inexpensive end for a bottle of liquor.
So, if you don’t know what to buy your cocktail-loving friend or colleague, take a close look at the vermouth shelf for Cocchi di Torino.