If you are celebrating World Vermouth Day this Sunday, you may want to ‘support local’ and consider some homegrown offerings. Aussie brands Regal Rogue and Unico Zelo both offer unique, environmentally conscious vermouths that would make a great addition to any home bar cart.
Founded by Mark Ward in 2011, Regal Rogue is committed to creating the best Australian vermouth that is an expression of place, with minimum impact on the land itself. Regal Rogue begins with 100% organic Australian grapes, blended with organic botanicals. This is everyday quaffing vermouth for the ultimate wine aperitif, available in four varieties: Lively White, Daring Dry, Bold Red and Wild Rosé. Regal Rogue works with award-winning organic winemaker, Justin Jarrett of See Saw Wines, whose wines are sustainably farmed in Orange, New South Wales. This wine is blended with 17 organic botanicals and three Indigenous botanicals to make each vermouth. Working closely with Vic Cherikoff of Australian Functional Ingredients, the botanicals are sourced directly from Indigenous communities, ensuring the revenue goes back to the farmers and the communities themselves. Wild pepper berry, lemon myrtle and finger limes; each sip is a celebration of Australia and champions minimal intervention or disruption to the grape, earth and local communities. In March 2020, Regal Rogue launched its new 98% recycled packaging globally, with revised recipes to use 100% organic ingredients.
Vermouth has a natural place in the centre of aperitivo – an occasion credited to the distiller Antonio Benedetto Carpano, who also created one of the first vermouths in Turin in 1786. He claimed that his special combination of fortified white wine and various herbs and spices stimulated the appetite. Today, aperitivo hour conjures up those golden hours that fall between the end of the working day and the start of night, sharing drinks and snacks in good company, and it is here that Regal Rogue finds its natural home, somewhere between regal and rogue.
Available for purchase here.
Following its highly successful debut in 2019, Unico Yuzu, Unico Zelo’s Yuzu Vermouth has returned. Using Merlot in place of Nebbiolo, the second batch of Unico Yuzu makes for a richer and juicer addition to your home bar cart, pairing perfectly with cocktails such as spritzes or negronis, served on its own as an aperitif, or as an excellent addition to zesty marinades, sauces, or even desserts.
Unico Yuzu started as a fun side project by the Unico Zelo team and has since grown into one of their cult products. To create the vermouth, Unico Zelo starts with a fresh Merlot base from the current vintage, before infusing an array of native Australian botanicals via their sister brand Økar Island Bitter. The mixture is then fortified with yuzu – an intensely flavoured citrus grown by Australian citrus producer Mountain Yuzu in Victoria. The Vermouth provides another use for native botanicals from their sister product Økar Island Bitter, allowing Unico Zelo to continue their sustainable focus.
A creative extension of their Ugly Citrus project that began with Unico Cello (a limoncello liqueur crafted from lemons that would usually go to waste), and Unico Mando (made from the large portion of Dekapon mandarins that are typically discarded), Unico Yuzu is part of Unico Zelo’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, utilising unique ingredients that would typically go to waste in the supply chain, leading to their status as the only Australian distillery with B-Corporation certification, meeting the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance.
Available to purchase here for $34.99.