One of the toughest common cocktail ingredients for the typical red-blooded beer-drinking Wisconsinite to get through is vermouth. Vermouth is just fortified wine (wine with a distilled spirit like brandy added) to bring the proof up to around 30-34 in most cases and also aromatized. Aromatization is the flavoring of wine with various botanicals like roots, barks, flowers, seeds, herbs, and spices.
Since gin has never been a go-to spirit of Wisconsinites and brandies like Korbel is redundant in vermouth (although I do enjoy a Metropolitan for time to time, which is 1 ½ ounces of Korbel, 1 ounce of sweet vermouth, ½ teaspoon of simple syrup and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters), there really isn’t a demand for vermouth. In response, Wisconsin tends to get crappy brands of vermouth. Not until this year has Woodman’s (and Barriques) started carrying Carpano Antica, and to drink it is a real experience. Created in the 1780s in Turin, Italy by Antonio Benedetto Carpano, the drink that still claims his name is history’s first vermouth and its best.
The cocktail that features Carpano in the right way in the modern age is the manhattan. We gave you the recipe for the manhattan in an earlier post, but we are about to take it up 2 notches- with Carpano and bacon!
Classic Pour Series
2 ounces rye or bourbon
1 ounce Carpano Antica
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1/2 strip of bacon
Cook a strip of bacon until crisp. Pour the whiskey, Carpano, and bitters into an iced stirring vessel. Stir vigorously. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Snap the bacon into a 2 to 3 inch piece depending on depth of the glass. Spin the cocktail one revolution with the bacon piece and set the bacon as garnish as shown in the picture.