When Melbourne bar impresario, Vernon Chalker (Gin Palace, Bar Ampere) played boozy-matchmaker to bartender Shaun Byrne and respected winemaker Gilles Lapalus, the result was two beautiful new vermouths. We caught up with the gents to find out how they did it.
Melbourne bartender Shaun Byrne has been getting a taste for vermouth – and so he ought to, given he’s spent a good five years at Melbourne’s venerable ginstitution, Gin Palace. Here he has teamed up with French winemaker Gilles Lapalus to bring bars their very own Australian vermouths.
It’s probably one of the most common ingredients in classic cocktails, however vermouth is most likely the stuff that you end up cleaning of your bar mats! It hasn’t always been this way, with the Vermouth Cocktail considered quite a hit back in the late 1800s, but sadly today you’ll not often hear, “Barkeep – a wine glass of dry vermouth, chilled and garnished with lemon. Up.” Hopefully however after reading this month’s Trend piece you’ll be more inspired, confident and determined to offer up a vermouth focused cocktail – or tasting flight – to your bar’s tipplers.
Some bars go to extraordinary lengths to craft the perfect cocktail. Sometimes it will be by using hand-chipped ice in frozen glassware like at Sydney’s Duke Bar & Bistro. Others will hand craft their own bespoke bitters or perfectly control the dilution of their Martinis by chilling them in liquid nitrogen ‘baths’ like the good folks at Brisbane’s Canvas. For others though, like Sydney’s Sam Bygrave, making your own vermouth is a grand way to add a little something special to your next mixological masterpiece.
This autumn, Martini has extended its signature range with the addition of three new sparkling wine variants and an exciting new vermouth. The overall range has also been modernised in striking new packaging to capture the eye of the increasingly style conscious consumer.