Amberthorn is exhilarating – neither sugary nor dry, tart nor sweet. Its flavor is summery and fresh, cutting through Amberthorn like the quick swipe of a scythe through the center of a honeycomb. But sweet is nothing without some nettle – that prick from a thorn can feel disturbingly good, and the unusual and unexpected are what make us feel alive. Amberthorn is rich and aromatic.
Botanicals like Chinese Anise, French lavender, and holy basil add a novel verdant quality. A squeeze of citrus rounds out the warm fruit of apple brandy. It’s a little bit thorny because it’s a little bit delicate — the botanicals we use are rare indeed, and so we make only very limited quantities.
|Atsby Vermouth is the inspiration of a boozehound and cultural history geek, Adam Ford, who had the vision of bringing the romance of vermouth back to America. Vermouth, he believed, had the potential to be the perfect drink. Wine with brandy? Fragrant herbs and aromatic spices? A whisper of sweet? Sublime. Perfection. He couldn’t understand why the stuff wasn’t being gulped down by the bottle.
The simple answer is that the execution wasn’t living up to the theory. The European vermouths stocking our shelves and bars are based on outdated knowledge and old recipes. Those vermouths are good – the old recipes yielded transcendent drinks enjoyed by emperors and kings, the aristocracy and nobility throughout the ages. But vermouth production has historically been based on the assumption that all the alchemy was in the secret mix of botanicals, hence the use of bland ingredients, such as neutral wine, flavorless spirits, and simple sweeteners.
Atsby sought to create a new American vermouth using artisanal ingredients and a respect for terroir. Working closely with a certified sommelier, Adam applied 21st century knowledge of wine, spirits, herbs, and food to upgrade an old faithful mixer into a modern vibrant beverage in itself.
Enter Atsby. Learned tradition, daring revision.