How we make our Vermouth
The first step in making our Vermouth is picking the botanicals. Most of these are hand foraged in Pembrokeshire, by our head distiller and the rest of the team at the distillery. We work with Cafe Mor, Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company to source much of our seaweed. Their brilliant business shares our ethos of sustainably foraging wild ingredients.
Once picked, the botanicals are carefully picked over and hand processed.
Each botanical is individually infused in spirit. To release the best flavours, each plant requires a different percentage of alcohol. These are left to steep for anything between an afternoon and six weeks. This balance requires a lot of patience and iteration, which can be time consuming. We did 57 tests just in the seaweed family alone!
Depending on the ingredient, these are either blended straight into the Vermouth, or they are distilled.
A key ingredients in our vermouth is our own caramel. We produce it all ourselves so we can get exactly the right caramelisation. A very light touch for the dry vermouth, just enough to bring out notes of straw and honey. For the sweet vermouth we singe the caramel until its just shy of burnt. This gives us a much richer and darker flavour, almost bitter.
Initially we used a traditional pot still to distil. However, we found that many of the volatile aromas were being lost. A normal still heats up the spirit to 80C, the boiling point of ethanol. It’s this heating that destroyed the flavours we wanted to harness.
Distilling requires the same concept as cooking with herbs. Imagine roasting food in a hot oven; herbs like rosemary and sage are robust enough to handle the heat. Whereas, if you threw in mint and parsley, they would quickly lose their impact as the heat breaks them down.
By using a rotary evaporator, we can cold distill our botanicals under vacuum. This reduces the pressure in the system. The ethanol boils at room temperature and protects the smells and tastes we want to celebrate.
Everything is then slowly blended together with our wine to get the exact unique flavour profile.
We do all our bottling ourselves so we have complete control.
We’re very happy with our finished product and in foraging such interesting ingredients we feel we’ve created a truly special Vermouth. We’ve made a unique drink with our own unique flavour profile, whilst remaining true to the characteristics of a classic Vermouth. We hope you agree!