Sometimes a few different influences coincide to deliver something new to me and by putting them together I have an exciting discovery. This week it was of the alcohol variety

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In the past few weeks I have been finishing the Christmas buying for our shops and invariably the December purchases revolve around alcohol as much as anything else. I was pointed towards Termini Negroni – a bottle that the guys had been served at a party. It was made by cocktail guru Tony Conigliaro and looks super lovely as well as apparently tasting pretty good too. In his blog (where I sourced the pic), Mr Conigliaro talks about the fact that they combine the ingredients and then cook them sous vide to really fuse all the flavours and ensure consistency. This is apparently called flash fusing – read more here.

I then looked up the recipe for a classic negroni which is one part each of gin, vermouth rosso and campari garnished with orange peel and served over ice. It is a little too full on for me, but it got me thinking about sofagirl from Campari and Sofa and I was just going to e mail her when another bottle came to light.

This time, it was a bottle of Vermouth from the clever team at The Ethicurean. I only recently discovered this team of food and drink enthusiasts who seem to be doing lovely things with food from the Barley Wood walled garden down near Bristol as well as supporting smaller artistic projects so they are most certainly on my list to visit right now. But in the meantime, I was able to meet a couple of them the other weekend when I popped along to the Do Market to meet the team behind The Do Book Co. The market was a combination of the fashionable Shoreditch set so a bit young and hip for me but all that changed when I discovered the Vermouth stand and I was hooked.

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The Collector Vermouth is made from 20 botanicals picked at the Ethicurean’s walled garden and the surrounding Mendip Hill. It has taken three years of experimenting with herbal combinations and alcoholic processes to perfect their drink but they certainly have it right now. It has a purity of flavour that really does capture the essence of the herbs and is so wonderfully packaged and branded that I just had to get a bottle.

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We tried it in the office as soon as I got back to work and everyone loved it. The recommendation is to simply have it over ice with a bay leaf in it but I was convinced that there was something between the pure Vermouth and the Negroni inspiration so made a mix of my own. I knew that there needed to be a nod to the orange/citrus flavour, so simply mixed it with freshly squeezed clementine juice which is seasonally available from Pret these days and hey presto…a simple yet very effective cocktail to be proud of.

Now all I need is the expertise of Sofagirl, who is the best person I know to experiment with cocktails so when are you coming over to try some?

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