Wine and whiskey makers collaborate on sweet vermouth

by Melita Kiely

Bourbon producer Splinter Group Spirits has teamed up with winemaker Vintage Wine Estates to create a limited-edition sweet vermouth.

The sweet vermouth is a blend of Merlot and Petite Sirah, combined with fresh Tartarian cherries form Lodi in California, smoked black cardamom, star anise, Indian coriander, allspice, blessed thistle, eucalyptus leaf, fennel seed, cinchona bark and wormwood. It has been designed to drink neat, over ice or mixed in cocktails. “Vermouth is fortified wine infused with botanicals, which dates back to the origins of wine itself,” explained Steve Matthiasson, one of the master blenders behind Splinter Group Spirits’ Straight Edge Bourbon, Slaughter House American whiskey, and Whip Saw Rye. “The Caesars and the pharaohs of the ancient world had their own royal recipes, as did the common folk on their farms. It was considered to have medicinal properties – as well as being delicious.” Partner Vermouth is bottled at 17.5% abv and has an RRP of US$25 per six-pack of 375ml bottles. It is available in limited quantities from on-trade venues across the US.