As the trend for vermouth gathers pace in the UK, distributor Love Drinks is bolstering its portfolio with El Bandarra Vermut from Barcelona.
El Bandarra is the brainchild of the Virgili brothers, 6th generation family members from the Casa Berger Winery, which was set up in 1878 to the west of Barcelona.
Fusing heritage with craft production, the brothers use their own locally-grown and harvested grapes plus a selection of native botanicals to make El Bandarra, using the same recipe that their grandparents created in 1962.
The brand aims to pay homage to the nostalgic golden age of vermouth in the 50’s, while at the same time, showcasing the winery’s modern approach, vermouth’s versatility and the ‘good time’ positioning it has garnered among the young and old as ‘Barcelona’s cocktail’.
Love Drinks is launching two El Bandarra expressions: El Bandarra Red and El Bandarra White, which both have an ABV of 15%.
To make El Bandarra Red, Xarel·lo and Macabeo grapes are macerated with 50 herb extracts such as clove, cinnamon and bitter orange. After fortifying the wine, it is given a touch of caramel and balanced in Solera oak barrels for two months.
The second expression, El Bandarra White, is made with White Grenache and Xarel·lo. It is macerated with more than 40 herb extracts including vanilla, wormwood and clove, given a “sweet touch” with must nectar and balanced in a tank for two months.
El Bandarra can be served on the rocks with a slice of orange or lemon and an olive, either neat or topped with soda or tonic water.
El Bandarra co-founder Alex Virgili said: “Vermouth is an attitude. Chilling out on a terrace and enjoying the good times – that’s El Bandarra style and it’s also the philosophy behind our vermouth.
“Served simply on the rocks like in Barcelona’s bustling tapas restaurants, it is beautifully refreshing, flavoursome and the perfect way of preparing the stomach for food, but it’s also the greatest social lubricant I’ve ever seen, so share it with your friends to start off a big night out!”
Love Drinks’ founder Kirsty Loveday added: “Vermouth is not just another cocktail ingredient in Spain but a drink that is celebrated daily in cafes, restaurants and vermuterias.
“Although still used by mixologists in countless Negroni’s and Martini’s around the world, interest has been growing around the drink’s ‘aperitif’’ appeal.
“With stand-out packaging, fantastic support and bags of energy, we believe El Bandarra are perfectly placed and positioned to take vermouth to new levels in the UK.”