Vermouth, the aromatized, fortified wine that dates back to the mid-1700s, has played the supporting cast member in cocktails for decades – until now. According to Bon Appetit magazine, vermouth bars are on the rise stateside, inspired by resurgence of the aperitif culture and thriving vermuterías in Spain and the U.K. As bartenders across the U.S. embrace new styles of vermouth, Tempus Fugit Spirits, dedicated to the revitalization of rare and vintage spirits and liqueurs, introduces “home bar friendly” sized bottles of the Alessio Vermouth di Torino Rosso and Alessio Vermouth Chinato in 375ml. Originally introduced in 750ml in early 2015, the pair of vermouths were created to meet the demand for a high-quality sipping and mixable vermouth.
“Alessio Vermouths exemplify the styles of vermouth that existed in the 19th Century, prior to the popular use of vermouths in cocktails. These styles were consumed and enjoyed as individual aperitifs and highlighted the producers’ balance of herbs, wine, sweet and bitter. If a product was not enjoyable on its own, it was simply regarded as an inferior product,” says John Troia, co-founder of Tempus Fugit Spirits. “The key bittering agent of wormwood sourced from the Piedmonte region and the addition of Cinchona bark, in the case of Chinato, is highlighted in Alessio Vermouths as they were in the historic vermouths of the 19th Century. The use of vermouth as a modifier has defined many of the cocktails that we consider classics, such as a Boulevardier, Negroni, Manhattan, or any cocktail that requires sweet or Italian vermouth. A historic and superior vermouth, such as the Alessio vermouths, are a must have ingredient for any discerning bartender or home cocktail enthusiast.”
The Alessio Vermouths are inspired by a 16th Century Italian physician, alchemist, humanist, inventor and cartographer, Girolamo Ruscelli, author of The Secrets of Alexis of Piedmont in 1555 under the pseudonym “Alexius Pedemontanus” (Alexis of Piedmonte / Alessio Piemontese). This early manual of ancient curative recipes contained many formulas that were previously banned, hidden or lost by the Church during the Dark Ages, including several elixirs that are distinct ancestors to the herbal wine-tonic that later became known as vermouth. Alessio Vermouths are crafted by a master Vermuttista of Asti in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, the birthplace of sweet vermouth and the land from which Alessio Piemontese took as his name.
The new 375ml Alessio Vermouths are:  
Alessio Vermouth di Torino Rosso
17% ABV, 375ml, $18.99 SRP
Based on a classic di Torino recipe from the late 19th Century, Alessio Vermouth di Torino Rosso is designed to be enjoyed as what was commonly called a “Vino di Lusso” (luxury wine), a wine thoroughly consumed on its own. Created with a fine Piedmont white wine as the base, this authentic Vermouth di Torino contains both Grande and Petite Wormwood, along with over 25 other pharmaceutical-grade herbs, roots and spices. As a result, this vermouth offers a full mouth-feel that contributes weight to a cocktail, and lightly bitter but bright, refreshing citrus and herbal notes that lengthen the finish.
Alessio Vermouth Chinato
16.5% ABV, 375ml, $20.99 SRP
Alessio Vermouth Chinato is also based on a classic di Torino recipe from the late 19th Century combined with the additional bittering of Cinchona bark and more than 25 other balancing herbs, roots and spices, including Grande and Petite Wormwood, and reflects an almost-lost style of bitter vermouth. As a result, this vermouth offers an expansive herbal nose with a full, medium-sweet, herbal, rich, slightly spicy, moderately bitter finish. The slightly lower ABV than the Vermouth di Torino Rosso helps highlight this Chinato vermouth’s backbone and aromatics, making it a complex alternative to sweet vermouth in cocktails as well as excellent on its own.
For more information on Tempus Fugit Spirits, visit AnchorDistilling.com.