If you’re like me thinking about Vermouth instantly brings the thought of extra dry martinis (shaken, not stirred just like James Bond) to mind. Well in recent years the UK has experienced a huge surge in the popularity of Italian drinks and their iconic aperitivo drinking culture. Because of this, it’s no wonder Cocchi a 100% natural, Italian aperitivo wine and vermouth produced in Piedmont in the northwest of Italy, dating back to 1891 is now served in 99% of the Worlds Best Bars. The history of Cocchi is quite a romantic one with the legend stating that the creator Giulio Cocchi, a young and creative pastry chef from Florence moved to Asti, a small but lively town in the north west of Italy. There he fell in love with the owner’s daughter of one of the bars at Piazza Alfieri – the main square in Asti. The owner’s daughter also loved the creative pastry chef and from there Bar Cocchi and eventually the Cocchi brand was born.
We were sent a bottle of Cocchi Rosa and Cocchi Vermouth di Torino to change our perception of vermouth and it sure did the trick. We found out it’s much more than just an ingredient for a martini, it can be enjoyed alone or in a variety of exciting cocktails.
We started off trying the Cocchi Vermouth di Torino. The classic recipe dates back to 1891 and includes a blend of Muscato wine, bitter sweet herbs and aromatic spices including wormwood, rhubarb and citrus notes. This is the classic Vermouth flavour, however, it still is quite easy to drink. My house mate and I definitely didn’t find this as dry as other vermouths. Cocchi Vermouth di Torino is the perfect addition to the premium Negroni.The classic Negroni recipe consists of 30 mls of Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, 30 mls dry gin and 30 mls of Campari Orange twist. Pour all the ingredients into a tumbler, fill with cubed ice, stir and garnish with the orange twist.
Now we didn’t have any Campari at home so we invented a negroni tonic twist. (If this is already a drink – with a proper name… please let us know). It contained Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Gin and a spritz of Silent Pool Gin Bergamot Liquid Garnish mixed with tonic water. It was actually really nice – a little more bitter than I like my gin and tonics but quite easy to drink still.
We then had the Cocchi Rosa, this is a really sweet vermouth and probably my favourite of the two. Cocchi Rosa is made from specifically grown Brachetto and Malvasia red grapes native to Piedmont, the wine is then ‘aromatised’ by adding a secret blend of herbs and spices including gentian, cinchona and citrus. It has a sweet berry taste and is best enjoyed over ice or with a dash of soda or tonic water for an elegant, natural rendition of a summer Spritz. The summer spritz consists of 60 mls Cocchi Rosa, 30 mls tonic water, Basil leaf sprig and Black pepper. Pour the Cocchi Rosa into a wine glass, add cubed ice and top up with tonic. Garnish with the basil leaf and a twist of black pepper. Because we really enjoyed this, we upped the alcohol content by adding 30ml of Gin to give it a real kick.
Cocchi Rosa and Cocchi Vermouth di Torino cost £18.00 and can be purchased from Waitrose stores nationwide and online. We’re glad we’ve added this to our collection and can’t wait to experiment with more Cocchi cocktails. For more information and recipes visit the website now.
Written by Tegan LeBon