It was a happy accident that led to this great Sardinian vermouth

The origins of Sardinian Vermouth could be considered a fortunate accident. During WWII when the black market for food and wine was rampant, the locals hid their Vernaccia wine from the rationing officials by stashing barrels and terracotta jars under bushes. Often these were thick bushes of Helichrysum italicum also known as curry plant, a Mediterranean flowering evergreen shrub that’s known for its potent essential oils and strong resinous fragrance reminiscent of sage or wormwood. The Sardinians quickly discovered that in hot weather the wines would become more concentrated and take on the aromas and flavours of surrounding bushes.

In the 1950s as Italy began to recover from the war and vermouth emerged as a popular drink, Silvio Carta, set out to create a Sardinian vermouth inspired by the accidental flavours of the smuggled wine.

The Vermouth Carta29 rosso and bianco are both made using Vernaccia wine with a combination of local Sardinain botanicals such as elicriso (Helichrysum italicum). The rosso also contains foraged mirto (myrtle).

They have been made specifically with the cocktail barman in mind. The flavours are rich, smooth and appealing whether they are serve straight or in cocktails. The 500ml bottles are attractive, yet functional with simple screwcap closures.

Available from Enoteca Sileno — contact them on or call 03 93897000.