Maidenii Vermouth is a story of old world meets new, in a vermouth that is the product of a collaboration between French winemaker Gilles Lapalus and renowned Australian bartender, Shaun Byrne.
Originally from France, Gilles Lapalus is the winemaker at Sutton Grange Winery in Victoria and along with Shaun Byrne, previously at the Gin Palace in Melbourne, they have developed a range of vermouths using native and imported botanicals.
Thirty four botanicals go into making Maidenii Vermouth, twelve of which are native Australian. The composition remains a secret but you’ll find strawberry gum, wattle seed, sea parsley and river mint among the native ingredients. Wormwood and wine, being the vital components that go into making vermouth are sourced from Victoria.
The vermouth is named after Joseph Maiden, a pioneer in cataloguing Australian botany and its medical and gastronomical qualities. The vermouth is pronounced maiden-eye not
maiden-knee with a French slant as we originally thought.
You’ll find three vermouths in the range and what sets Maidenii apart is that they use different grape varieties for each style.
Maidenii Classic (16% ABV) has a base of Shiraz from Central Victoria with prominent botanicals that include orange zest, bay leaf and gentian root. Pale red in colour, it has delicate aromas of citrus along with a semi dry base. Enjoy it aperitif style, such as in the Maidenii Classic Signature Serve, neat over ice with a slice of orange. It goes equally well in a spritzer, topped with soda water and an orange wedge.
With cabernet as its base wine, Maidenii Sweet (16% ABV) uses grapefruit, mace and angelica root in its botanical make up. Deep red in colour, it has aromas of spice mainly nutmeg with citrus and dark berries on the palate. Maidenii Sweet lends itself well to the classic 1:1:1 Negroni made with your favourite gin.
Maidenii Dry Vermouth
Designed with the Martini in mind, Maidenii Dry Vermouth (16% ABV) is made with viognier along with yarrow, nigella and Japanese gentian. Pale straw in colour, the herbal and floral notes interplay with the fruit and deliver a dry style of vermouth perfect in a dry Martini such as the one served at the Forty Spotted Rare Tasmanian Gin launch.
The Maidenii Vermouth range comes in 750 ml bottles and retails between $45 and $50 AUD.
Maidenii Cocktail Recipes
Aside from the recommended serves above, we spoke to Shaun Byrne who kindly provided us with his cocktail recipes designed to highlight the flavour profiles of each vermouth.
The Rosita is a take on the Negroni, made with tequila reposado, Campari and a combination of Maidenii Sweet and Dry.
45ml Reposado Tequila
15ml Maidenii Sweet
15ml Maidenii Dry
Glassware: Vintage Coupette
Garnish: orange twist
In a mixing glass, stir all ingredients with ice and strain into cocktail glass, orange twist garnish.
A timeless classic, The Hanky Panky is made of gin, sweet vermouth and a touch of Fernet Branca.
40ml Four Pillars Gin
40ml Maidenii Sweet
10ml Fernet Branca
Glassware: Nick & Nora Martini Glass *
Garnish: orange twist
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into cocktail glass, orange twist garnish.
The Australian Cup is a take on a Pimm’s cup made with equal parts local gin with Maidenii classic, with dry ginger and lemonade and garnished with seasonal fruit. We used a combination of strawberries, blueberries and pink grapefruit which enhanced the fruitiness of the vermouth.
30ml Australian Gin such as West Winds Sabre
30ml Maidenii Classic
60ml Dry Ginger Ale
Glassware: Tall Glass
Garnish: Seasonal fruit, we used sliced strawberries, blueberries, wedge of pink grapefruit and mint sprig
Build ingredients over ice. Garnish with seasonal fruit in the drink and a mint sprig on top.
Bar tools by barGeek. Tall glass by BarGeek. Vintage Coupette and ‘Laced’ Vintage Nick & Nora Martini Glass by The Drink Cabinet.
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