Gourmet Traveller (Australia)



After tinkering with creating his own vermouths, Dave Verheul has launched his own commercial­ly available aperitif, Saison Vermouth.

“I love vermouth and the family around those kind of bitter drinks,” says the chef, who had been making different versions while in the kitchen at Embla, and serving it at Lesa. These initial experiment­s were focused on seasonal flavours to go with food. “We started making ones from cherry blossom or cherry pips and different flowers, with the intent of serving it with the cherry dish, which we did a few times. It all stemmed from that.” Verheul was also inspired by the variations and changes within wine vintages. “You get seasonal changes from year to year, and that’s part of what gives wine its beauty because it has so much variation within the same vineyard. A lot of other vermouths don’t have that – they’re the same the whole year round.” Saison Vermouth is made in small batches, using Verheul’s chef sensibilit­ies to layer delicate, seasonal flavours. “A lot of the European vermouths are all very caramel-heavy and spiceled, so I wanted to create something that was fresh and vibrant and lighter that you could drink on its own. It’s best served over ice.”

Saison Vermouth is available from a range of retail shops including Punchin’ Bottles, Black Hearts, Drnks and P&V Merchants.

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