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Some people are just beginning to discover the sublime marriage of bitter and sweet as in amaro. Many others have been seduced by our cocktail heritage and in their search for better ingredients created a market for more flavourful and interesting vermouths. Amari are distillate based and vermouths are wines but both involve infusions of aromatic plants.

The key to understanding these increasingly important categories is familiarity with the properties of the botanicals. In this seminar, Andrew Quady, creator of Vya Vermouths, will guide participants through a journey where the organoleptic properties of certain key botanicals will be experienced. Then, under Andrew’s direction, seminar participants will create their own aromatized wines.

This presentation is owned and copywritten by Andrew Quady, 2013

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  1. 1. Infuse me, baby: aromatized wines and amari Andrew Quady
  2. 2. Infuse Me Baby ! Infusions  Special group of alcoholic beverages  Complex flavor profile  Bitterness offset by sweetness  Extraction of flavors from botanicals
  3. 3.  1876 – first made in Barcelona  Herbs, fruits and roots are macerated in fortified wine  Flavor elements:  Christmas cookie spices  Lemon  Cola  Clove  Licorice  Tobacco  Cinnamon  Orange  Lemon  Ginger  Mint  Bittersweet  Earthy  Tannic finish
  4. 4.  1999 – first made by Andrew Quady, Madera, California  Maceration: herbs, seeds, stems, roots and barks  Fortified wine: Orange Muscat, Tinta Roriz and California dry white  Flavor elements:  Christmas cookie spices  Cinnamon  Clove  Orange  Ginger  Baked apple  Honey  Rich  Spicy  Sweet and bitter
  5. 5.  1786 – the first Vermouth made by Benedetto Carpano  “Selected Mountain Herbs”  Macerated in Muscat, Dry White and Southern Italian Red  Flavor elements:  Vanilla  Cocoa  Spices  Almonds  Anise  Toffee  Mint  Bitter marmalade  Dates  Red wine  Plums  Rich  Figs  Bitter finish  Orange peel
  6. 6.  1885 – Amaro first made by Stanislaus Cobianchi  Grape Brandy infused with botanicals such as:  Herbs, flowers, aromatic bark, citrus peel, and spices  Sweetened with sugar and aged  Amaro Montenegro  Purported to have over 40 - mostly secret  Said to include vanilla, orange peel, black licorice and saffron  Tasting Notes:  Orange peel, fresh coriander, red cherry, pekoe tea, cucumber, tangerine, mandarin, Christmas pie, nutmeg, honey, dried blood orange peel, treacle, rich sweet, slightly bitter finish
  7. 7.  1891 –first made by Giulio Cocchi  Nearest contemporary drink to original Kina Lillet  Used in Vesper Martini and Corpse Reviver #2 cocktails  Fortified Moscato d’Asti infused with  Gentian, Cinchona bark, Orange peels and Herbs  Sweetened with sugar  Tasting Notes:  Orange zest, orange flavor, elderflower, baked apple and pear, honey, citrus  Bitter/sweet balance  “Bitter bite” from cinchona places it in category of chinati or quinquinas
  8. 8. Flavor Exploration Botanicals in Moscato Base Wine To taste the botanicals use 10 ml base wine. Proportion of botanicals given on following slides. Moscato base wine  16.5% alcohol  Specific gravity equal to 16.2 ml sugar in 100 ml water (16.2 Brix)  Blend of Orange Muscat and Muscat Blanc (Moscato Bianco) Extracts  Prepared as a 10% extract in 55% alcohol  40 drops = 1 ml
  9. 9. Cinchona Bark Cinchona officinalis  Medicinal plant  One of several Cinchona species  Used for the production of quinine, an anti-fever agent  Specially in the prevention and treatment of malaria  Cinchona calisaya is the tree most cultivated for quinine production Quinine  Natural white crystalline alkaloid  Fever-reducing, antimalarial, analgesic (painkilling), and anti-inflammatory properties  Known for its bitter taste. Proportion: 10 drops in 10 ml base wine to taste the bitterness
  10. 10. Gentian Gentian root is a common beverage flavoring for bitters.  The soft drink Moxie contains gentian root.  The French liqueur Suze is made with gentian.  Americano aperitifs contain gentian root for bitter flavoring.  Ingredient in the Italian liqueur Aperol Proportion: 5 drops in 10 ml base wine
  11. 11. Cinnamon Spice from the Inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum Used in both sweet and savory foods. Pungent taste and scent comes from cinnamic aldehyde or cinnamaldehyde. Used in gin and vermouth Featured ingredient in Cinnamon Schnapps and Liquers Proportion: 5 drops in 10 ml base wine Harvesting cinnamon in India, circa 1579
  12. 12. Bitter & Sweet Orange Bitter Orange ~ Citrus aurantium  Hybrid of Citrus maxima (pomelo) and Citrus reticulata (mandarin)  Many bitter orange varieties  Seville variety used in marmalade  Used as a vermouth ingredient  Important in liqueurs  Grand Marnier is blend of cognac, extract of bitter orange and sugar Sweet Orange ~ Citrus sinensis  Orange blossom fragrant character  Dried peelings sometimes combined with bitter orange in aromatized wines and liqueur formulas. Proportion: 5 drops in 10 ml base wine
  13. 13. Lets make a Quina or “Chinato” Americano Tasting levels in 10ml base Cinchona: 10 drops Gentian: 5 drops Cinnamon: 5 drops Bitter Orange: 5 drops Sweet Orange: 5 drops Suggested formula for an Americano type: “chinato” 10 mls base wine: • Cinchona: 20 drops • Gentian: 2 drops • Cinnamon: 2 drops • Bitter Orange: 6 drops • Sweet Orange: 6 drops Now you can make your Vesper Martini or Corpse Reviver # 2….