South Baden, Germany – LS:N Global visited the home of new vermouth brand Belsazar to discover the secrets behind how the drink is made and why it is increasing in popularity.
- Vermouth is generally made from a blend of wines, fortified with spirits and mixed with wormwood and other botanicals
- Belsazar was launched in the UK last year, with the mission to make vermouth the star of the cocktail, not an afterthought
Vermouth is typically the preserve of barmen, gathering dust on a shelf until a dash is required in a cocktail, but German brand Belsazar is seeking to elevate the drink through careful consideration of ingredients and provenance. Vermouth has to be 75% wine by law, according to Maximilian Wagner, co-founder of Belsazar, so why not make that wine good wine, sourced from the organic Zähringer vineyard near the foothills of the Black Forest? The vermouth is then fortified with fruit brandy from the nearby Schladerer distillery, as well as 20 different macerates to create a dry red and the world’s first rose vermouth. Each has nuances, such as flavour profiles ranging from sweet to dry to bitter and most importantly, each can be drunk neat or with a spritz of tonic – a new approach to an old drink.
The Big Picture: Spirits that were once relegated to the back of the shelf are becoming the tipple of choice for sophisticated drinkers. For more on resurrected spirits, buy tickets to our upcoming Food & Drink Futures Forum.