La Rioja’s own vermouth has a name and a surname, Vermut Lacuesta, and a secret, la Conzia (The Botanicals), their master formula for making vermouth, used since 1937.
Vermouth is a wine-based beverage made by infusing various botanicals (fruits, herbs, spices and roots) into a white, low-alcohol base wine. As is the case with gin, the particular combination of botanicals used varies from producer to producer, and is often a closely guarded trade secret.
Cardamom, chamomile, cinnamon, citrus (peel), cloves, coriander and quinine are common vermouth botanicals, although the list of possible ingredients is extensive. Nutmeg and orange peel contribute a distinctive, refreshing bitterness when required. Juniper berries are used to bring a certain tangy intensity to some vermouth, giving it a flavor otherwise more commonly associated with gin, while the use of hyssop and various members of the anise family lend certain absinthe-like aromas and a subtle green hue. Historically Artemisia absinthium was used as a vermouth flavoring, although this practice stopped almost entirely when the herb was outlawed by many nations as a beverage ingredient. It is from Artemisia absinthium, which is known more commonly as "wormwood", that both absinthe and vermouth got their names.
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