Vermouth, once perceived to be something older people drink on its own is undergoing a revival. With the influx of new crafts spirits, the trend towards lower alcohol drinks and bartenders extending its use beyond the classics, we’re seeing new styles of vermouths making their way into cocktail lists.
OSCAR.697 Vermouth is a contemporary Italian vermouth, the brainchild of global drinks expert, Stefano di Dio who has previously worked with Sagatiba, Oscar Quagliarini, the brand’s namesake who created the recipe for the vermouth, and Oreste Sconfienza, a vermuttista who’s been making vermouth in Italy since 1957. David Caon, a Sydney-based designer created the sleek and modern packaging.
The vermouth complies with EU regulations where the composition is 75% wine and the remaining 25% is a maceration of botanicals in a neutral spirit. The vermouth is produced in Canelli, in the province of Asti, in the Piedmont region in Italy’s north-west. At its base is Trebbiano di Romagna, a white wine from central Italy chosen for its neutrality.
How is OSCAR.697 Vermouth Made
Dry botanicals are crushed together then undergo cold maceration in a grape-based spirit (> 55% ABV) for approximately 2 weeks. The composition of the botanicals and the exact duration of the maceration are production secrets. The botanical infusion is then mixed with the wine base and natural flavours for approximately 1 week. The liquid is carbon-filtered to remove the majority of impurities then frozen to extract more impurities but not micro-filtered in order to maintain its bouquet.
After the freezing process, the vermouth is rested for 2 weeks in a big steel vat before bottling. Once bottled, the vermouth is rested for another couple of months to ensure a balanced and smooth product.
OSCAR.697 is available in three varieties: OSCAR.697 Bianco, OSCAR.697 Rosso and OSCAR.697 Extra Dry.
OSCAR.697 Bianco has strong notes of bergamot which impart a sharp citrus flavour, yarrow muscat for peppery, bitter tannins and elderflower. The ABV sits at 16%, and the sugar level is kept relatively low at 14% to give it a drier and more bitter profile while maintaining a very fresh, delicate and balanced product. All the ingredients are strictly natural and no additives are used.
Signature serves: on the rocks; in cocktails;in a spritz and with white spirits such as gin, tequila and pisco; stir over ice and top with Campari foam
OSCAR.697 Rosso (16% ABV) has strong notes of absinthe, rhubarb and liquorice. It has no cinchona, a botanical normally associated with rosso vermouths. The sugar level is kept relatively low at 14% to ensure the final product has a drier and more bitter profile. OSCAR.697 Rosso gets its rich red colour naturally from burnt sugar. No dyes or synthetic caramels like E150c or E150d are used.
Signature serves: on the rocks; shaken or in cocktails such as Americano, Manhattan; stir with 1/4 spoon of vanilla liqueur and spray of liquorice liquor and absinthe
OSCAR.697 Extra Dry
OSCAR.697 Extra Dry is a unique product that undergoes two infusions, first the botanicals followed by a separate oak infusion. The dry vermouth has strong notes of wild fennel, dog rose and oak and can be reminiscent of a fino sherry. The ABV is a little higher at 18% and the sugar level is kept at 2.5% to create a drier vermouth while being extremely aromatic.
Signature serves: ideal for Martinis; use as a spray for a Martini; cure Sicilian olives in the vermouth for a week then use the liquid in a Dirty Martini
The range of OSCAR.697 Vermouth is distributed in Australia by Vanguard Luxury Brands. OSCAR.697 Bianco and Rosso are available in 750ml bottles. OSCAR.697 Extra Dry is available in 500 ml bottles.
In partnership with Vanguard Luxury Brands.
Photo Credit: Supplied