VERMúT DEL MOMéNT - ED. 1II
Keeping in the line of the larger vermouth houses, in this edition of Vermút del Momento we recognise a vermouth house which lays claim to being the first to produce dry vermouth.
The Original French Dry Vermouth, Noilly Prat is regarded by many as a staple in the most classic of cocktails - the Dry Martini.
Located on the Mediterranean coastline in the South of France, interestingly almost at a halfway point between Turin and Barcelona, Maison Noilly Prat can be found in the town of Marseillan. Whereas it counts as one the oldest of the modern vermouth houses - established in 1851, the original recipe actually dates all the way back to 1813 when one Joseph Noilly, in the profession of a herbalist, created the formula which is still being used today.
Interestingly, the inspiration has a history as ancient as vermouth itself - it goes back to Ancient Roman & Greek times. The ancients noted on the long seafaring voyages that transported their goods and most importantly, the wine, that the product being shipped would undergo changes in the process of the transport. The wine´s colour would turn darker and the flavours would ripen in the barrels exposed to the sun and misty sea breeze. Joseph Noilly sought to reproduce these effects manually, and to this day each bottle of Noilly Prat undergoes a considerably labour intensive process to develop the final product.
An Extra Drop...
The Original Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth is intended to be drank in what could be described as the European Style - served on the rocks with a citrus twist to enhance the flavour. However, North Americans found this to be a bit bland for their sensation-seeking tastebuds, and needed to throw in more alcohol and stuff, as such it is far more popular as a cocktail ingredient than a stand-alone drink. Hence Noilly Prat Extra Dry was born. A clearer liquid with less pronounced flavour, it is only available in the USA and is much more suited to a Classic Dry Gin Martini, needless to say also an all American invention.