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October 2nd, 2013 MARTIN CIZMAR | Drank
 

Drank: Bittersweet Vermouth (Imbue)

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Oregon makes great gin. You could cheerfully surrender all 10 of your drink tokens at this weekend’s Great American Distillers Festival at the Tiffany Center for nothing but sips of Aria, Aviation, New Deal, Peters Family, Rogue and Ransom. But when it comes to the other piece of the martini-shaped puzzle, vermouth, your only local options come from Imbue, which is based in Gaston, 30 miles west of town. The company’s Bittersweet Vermouth is Oregon pinot gris fortified with a splash of Clear Creek brandy and lathered with bitter herbs, clove and orange peel. At 17 percent alcohol, it functions well as a cocktail on the rocks. This is a complex spirit, and hard to ascertain exactly what you’re tasting at any moment. Cocoa? Oolong tea? Tangerine? It’s even better in the 50/50 martini recipe on the back of the label. If you spot it at the distillers festival, use one token for Imbue, another on Aria and bum a few dashes of orange bitters. Recommended.

 
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