Yzaguirre Reserva Vermouth
As we mentioned earlier this week, our new friends at Fasel Shenstone sent us some Spanish vermouths and a couple of other bottles recently. We’ve been using these newly discovered vermouths as an opportunity to add a bit of an addendum to our earliest posts, a vermouth taste-off. Both of today’s contestants did not participate in the earlier tournament, one because we thought it was simply another animal from the rest of the contestants (sorry, Cocchi di Torino. We really do love you!) and the other because we didn’t even really know of its existence until Fasel Shenstone sent it to us.
Both of these contestants are sweet vermouths made in a traditional manner; the Cocchi is an 1891 recipe, re-released to celebrate their 120th anniversary, while it seems like the Yzaguirre has pretty much always been made in the traditional manner. Cocchi di Torino comes from northern Italy; Yzaguirre from Catalonia.
Drinking these two vermouths side-by-side made us feel like kids in a pet store: ‘Can’t we take them both home?’ The two are similar in their richness and smooth complexity, but quite different in flavor. The Cocchi di Torino has a slightly citrus front, and a finish that reminds us of a sophisticated combination of root beer and dark chocolate. The Yzaguirre, on the other hand, reminds us of dried cherries and figs.
Both of these vermouths taste beautiful simply over ice, maybe with a lemon twist. If you’re mixing, Leith Shenstone suggest using the Yzaguirre with something smoky (mezcal, or Scotch maybe), something spicy (rye), or something bitter (Campari). Likewise, I think Cocchi could go well with sweeter companions, like Bourbon or amaro. We also enjoyed the Yzaguirre with a splash of tonic. The rich, dried fruit flavors were heightened and lightened just a little bit more by a touch of effervescence and minerality.
Vermouth and Tonic Drink Recipe
- 2 oz vermouth–but make it a really good one, like Yzaguirre Reserva
- 1/2 oz tonic–we used Fever Tree’s Naturally Light. We usually avoid light tonic, but for this particular drink we wanted to keep the tonic soft. A little goes a long way, and any more than that is too much.
- Pour the vermouth into an old fashioned glass.
- Add ice.
- Gently pour the tonic on top.