This weekend promises 75 degree weather in Denver and I’ve got warm weather cocktails on the brain.
I’ve just discovered this new brand of vermouth from Argentina brought to the US by one of my favorite importers, Vine Connections, and I’m excited to share and I'm incorporating these into my Springtime bar cart.
Vermouth is a fortified wine flavored with botanicals. It was first produced in Piedmont and came to Argentina by way of Italian immigrants in the late 1800’s. Through the 1950’s-70’s, vermouth enjoyments boomed in Argentina. Then, from the 1980’s to early 2000’s, consumption slowed as the food and table wines produced in Argentina took center stage locally and abroad.
In 2016, a group of four friends were inspired to reinvigorate the category and banded together to create this brand. La Fuerza, or ‘the force’, is the first vermouth brand ever produced in the Andes Mountains! Exposure grew and in 2018 the crew opened a bar, also called La Fuerza, in Buenos Aires to make a proper home for their products. Time Magazine named the bar one of the Top 100 World’s Greatest Places of 2019. This place has officially made my bucket list!
This duo of bottlings utilize Argentina’s two supreme grape varieties – Malbec for the Rojo, and Torrontés for the Blanco. Over 40 botanicals and native plants are hand-harvested from the Andes foothills to create these terroir-driven vermouths. The entire production process takes place in Mendoza using locally-sourced ingredients.
La Fuerza Vermouth Rojo
No preservatives or added flavors are used. You’ll taste notes of juniper, mace, star anise, and peppermint, with finishing hints of dried fruits and spice. This would be the perfect addition to a simple spritz, and it’s awesome in classic cocktails like Negronis or Americanos.
La Fuerza Vermouth Blanco
Also made without the use of preservatives or added flavors apart from the natural botanicals. This one brings notes of wild sage, rosemary, dried chamomile, anise, and coriander. It makes for a delicious and unexpected apéritif or light spritz, and it can be employed in any classic cocktail that calls for white vermouth.
Here are a few fun cocktail creations from the Vine Connections team to help inspire you as you explore this category:
La Fuerza Julep
• 3 oz. La Fuerza Rojo
• Grapefruit Juice
• 2-3 Mint Leaves
• Soda Water
Place mint leaves at the bottom of a tall glass & add a splash of grapefruit juice. Gently crush the mint with a spoon to release its essence. Fill the glass with ice, add La Fuerza Rojo & top with soda water.
La Fuerza Spritz
• 2 oz. La Fuerza Blanco
• 1 oz. Sparkling Wine
• 1 oz. Aperol
• 1 oz. Soda Water
Fill a large wine glass with ice. Add La Fuerza Blanco, Aperol, sprarkling wine and soda water. Stir with a spoon & garnish with an orange slice.
La Fuerza Negroni
• 1 oz. La Fuerza Rojo
• 1 oz. Gin
• 1 oz. Campari
In a short glass add ice, gin, Campari & La Fuerza Rojo. Stir slowly with a spoon and garnish with a slice of orange.
La Fuerza Andes Tonic
• 3 oz. La Fuerza Blanco
• 1 oz. Gin
• Tonic Water
Fill a large wine glass with ice and add La Fuerza Blanco and gin. Top with tonic water and garnish with a branch of thyme, mint or a slice of citrus.
Something new and different to explore! Do you like vermouth? What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy it? Drop a comment below!