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Published on March 14th, 2014 | by Dipsology

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Spirit Spotlight: Vya Vermouth

This is the latest installment in our series of spotlights of awesome vermouths.  Check out our Vermouth 101 for an introduction to this delicious category of beverage.

I first tasted Vya at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic last year and really enjoyed their products.  Located in Central California, they also make wine and were the first American producers of vermouth back in 1999.  Their portfolio includes Extra Dry, Whisper Dry and Sweet vermouths, and as a rule I would describe them as lighter, subtler versions in the category.

VyaSweet_cocktailsWhisper Dry is the lightest of the three, with delicate herbal and floral tones derived from orris (Iris roots), elecampane (a flower), linden and California fir.  Vya recommends pairing it with lighter spirits like vodka to add a hint of flavor without overpowering.

Extra Dry ups the aromatic quotient with a crisp herbaceous quality , but remains elegant and subtle.  Its aromatics come from the flowers & leaves of 15 plants including lavender, linden and gentian.

Sweet is again more delicate than other sweet vermouths, such as Carpano Antica,  but still packs a punch with vegetal bitter notes and stewed fruit on the nose.  Made from a base of Tinta Roriz (a type of Tempranillo grape) and Orange Muscat, it is flavored with the seeds, bark and roots of a range of botanicals.  We tried it in a 50-50 Manhattan (1.5 oz rye, 1.5 oz sweet vermouth) and it was delicious.  The classic Manhattan recipe calls for 2 oz rye and only 1 oz sweet vermouth, but the nuanced quality of Vya allows it to be combined in a higher ratio without overwhelming.

You can buy Vya Vermouth at Astor Wines and Drink Up NY, or search for specific restaurants and wine shops with their interactive map.

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