Torino, back in the eighteenth century was a thriving cosmopolitan city. Not only was there a vibrant cafe-culture, but the time-honored traditions distillation, blending herbs, and sweetening wine were still broadly popular. But it was only when a local entrepreneur named Carpano gave his grandmother’s recipe for medicinal wormwood infusion the clever brand name, Punt e Mes or “point & a half” in reference to the booming Stock Market of the time, that the first commercial Vermouth was marketed.
A century later, during the period of the California gold rush, a fortunate miner traveling between San Francisco and Martinez California ordered champagne to celebrate a strike. According to local lore, when the creative bartender poured the Miner the only booze on hand, which happened to be Gin and French Vermouth, the first Martini was born.
Despite the international appeal of the Martini, the quality Vermouth, remained largely overlooked by most Americans until quite recently. In fact, it has only been a couple of decades since California’s Andy Quady gave spiritual birth, so to speak, to his own world-class Vermouth.
Vya is his delightful botanical infusion of distilled wine. This vermouth is so subtle that it may actually be better suited to mix with top-notch Vodka than Gin. Quady Vermouth comes in two varieties: one dry with hints of delicate orange peel, ginger and chamomile, and the other sweet, with notes of tangerine, clove, and vanilla, followed by a pleasant bitter finish.