Fast Five: 5 Not-Your-Average Vermouth Cocktails with Unico Yuzu
It's back, by popular demand because we give the people what they want - Unico Yuzu, our sweet vermouth. Who knew that a sweet vermouth made with native Australian botanicals and Japanese Yuzu, grown by the legends at Mountain Yuzu in Victoria (around Glenrowan and King Valley), would be one of our most requested and hotly anticipated products. Not us. We made it for fun and the fun is back. Slight tweaks this year - we've switched from Nebbiolo to some incredible Adelaide Hills Merlot, and we think it's better. Like a lot better. We could drink this by itself it's that good. But sweet vermouth is for cocktails so we thought we'd put together a list of some of our favourite cocktails to make with Unico Yuzu. These go a little bit further than your standard Negronis or Spritzes - which Yuzu will work in stunningly - these are a little more niché, but we stand behind them as some essential Unico Yuzu cocktails, some of which are own creations! Who thought we'd be doing cocktails as a winery - look at us now.
In my humble opinion, the Americano is the g.o.a.t of sweet vermouth cocktails. Refreshing, a great balance of bitter and sweetness, and bloody easy to make. How can you improve on perfection? Wine. That's how. Subbing out soda water for pet-nat. Boom. Game Changer. The cocktail is definitely not low ABV anymore - but be responsible and just have less. Use any kind of pet nat you wish - something pink is the best! Here's some good ones: The Other Right's Bright Young Pink, Jamsheed's Candy Flip, Tim Wildman's Astro Bunny and Konpira Maru's Mt. Midoriyama. Anyway here's how to make it:
45ml Unico Yuzu
15ml Red Bitter Liqueur (try Campari or Økar 😉)
120ml Pet Nat
Add all ingredients to a tall glass and fill with plenty of ice and Enjoy - simple as that!
The Red Right Hand
Inspired by Australia's second greatest songwriter ever Nick Cave (sorry Nick, Paul Kelly is undefeated), and a cocktail crafted by Michael McIlroy at the legendary Milk & Honey in New York called the Right Hand - essentially a Negroni with some Rum and Xocatle molé bitters - we've twisted it to be a bit more wine focussed with the underrated brown spirit that is Brandy. Brandy is friggin awesome, so turn up your stiff evening sipper with some brandy, and just a dash of coffee liqueur to make it a little more robust and 'strayan.
30ml Unico Yuzu
60ml Australian Brandy
30ml Red Bitter Liqueur (see above 😉)
5ml Coffee Liqueur
Stir all ingredients down in a cocktail glass, double strain into a rocks glass over ice and garnish with an orange peel.
Blood and Sand
We're gonna try to check off as many base spirits as we can and we've just got to have some whiskey in here - enter the Blood & Sand, one of the great scotch cocktails. While the original recipe is a little on the sweet side, we prefer it a little scotch heavy just to balance it out. And if you're really game and a whiskey fanatic, add a bar spoon of an Islay malt for extra smokey. You're welcome.
30ml Scotch Whiskey
25ml Cherry Brandy Liqueur
25ml Unico Yuzu
30ml Orange Juice
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, shake and double strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a high-quality maraschino cherry or orange peel.
On the rum train here and we can't get on the rum without making a tiki influenced beverage, and this one's got it in the name for sure: The Voodoo. A cocktail from the turn of the 21st century made by Alex Kammerling in London with some high-quality apple juice. While not a regular juice used in the realms of tiki, it sings with some good rum - and of course Unico Yuzu.
60ml Aged Rum (6-10 Years)
25ml Sweet Vermouth
90ml Crushed Apple Juice
15ml Lime Juice
7.5ml Sugar Syrup
Add all ingredients to cocktail shakers with plenty of ice, shake and double strain into a collins glass. garnish with dried apple.
Had to have at least one gin recipe in here, and it's for a supremely underrated cocktail classic. Don't get me wrong, the Bijou is boozy, but it's a complex sipper that you can just while away the hours on - and darn easy to make too. How's the colour on it too? All kinds of herbaceous - maybe just stick to the one if you can...
45ml Australian Gin
25ml Green Chartreuse
45ml Sweet Vermouth
1 dash orange bitters
Add all ingredients to a cocktail glass, stir down, diluted to your liking - taste as you go! - and double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with orange peel!