Sunday, September 14, 2008

Carpano Antica Formula: once again I succumb.

It really is never going to end. Just when I feel I couldn't possibly have another food or drink obsession, my friend and provider of edible and liquid pleasure Nancy, owner (along with her ever gracious husband Randy) of one of w and my favorite new spots to indulge in PDX, Bar Avignon, introduces me to this oh, so good elixir which I have found to be the perfect aperitif. Carpano Antica Formula from the distiller Branca is an Italian sweet vermouth that I have noticed popping up as an ingredient on more and more cocktail lists and I had admired it's very attractive old school Euro packaging. This is far from your standard Martini & Rossi vermouth. Much more intense, rounded, with wonderfully warming flavors of vanilla, dried fruit, orange peel, and other indescribables. A couple of weeks ago Nancy asked if I had ever tried it on its own. I hadn't, she insisted I must, and since I'm a boy who can't say no I soon found myself lost in another pleasure haze while slowly sipping this down. You could mix it in a cocktail I suppose, in a Manhattan or Negroni, but for those drinks I still prefer regular sweet vermouth (at home I use Boissiere). No, for me this is the perfect recipe: a clean, clear, small cocktail glass, two large ice cubes, two or tree ounces of Carpano, a stylish twist of orange peel....and a smile on my face!

11 comments:

phil varner said...

So are you doing to start carrying this?

bb said...

Phil...I do have it in store. I was out when you were by Saturday, but it'll be back Thursday/Friday. I have a feeling your discerning palate would approve!

lifeinrecipes said...

Thanks for posting this. More and more I've been enjoying aperitifs such as this one; amaro, aperol, campari, etc. as i love the herbal/spice/floral alchemies.

Charles said...

Can I purchase Carpana Antica at a store in Portland? Nobody in Salem ever heard of it.

bb said...

I should have it at VINO in about 2 weeks Charles. The address for my store is 137 SE 28th Avenue.

Josh said...

What a brilliant vermouth. It can stand alone for sure. I'll never forget the day I tried it by itself for the 1st time.

m said...

I have to say though that in a Negroni it makes the drink much more sublime.
Tonight I will try it on its own as I have no Campari or Bourbon in the house. Really, quite tragic.

Anonymous said...

for those lucky enough to live in the central Willamette Valley, Market of Choice carries Antica~!

I recommend the Manhattan made with Antica and Bulleit Bourbon. My new absolute favorite drink. The two lovingly meld into a sultry, sexy, Manhattan perfect for a lover's evening....

James said...

Truly a must have for any bar. I like it in small amounts on the rocks with a splash of gin to cut the sweetness a bit.

jojo said...

This really is a great vermouth and excellent aperitif.

jojo said...

Great aperitif. I