Partner Vermouth hearkens to an earlier America when alcohol and medicine were one and the same. Whiskey and vermouth cured all. Vermouth is wine infused with botanicals. This marriage of flavors dates back to the origins of wine itself. The Caesars and Pharaohs of the ancient world had their own royal recipes, as well as the common folks on their farms…families throughout history added herbs and spices to their local wine, both for flavor and for health. Vermouth has always been considered medicinal as well as delicious, and we are continuing the tradition. A blend of Merlot and Petite Sirah, heightened it with fresh Tartarian cherries from Lodi California, and exotic spices from around the world. We made grape spirit infusions of spices such as Smoked Black Cardamom, Star Anise, Indian Coriander, Chinchona bark, and Wormwood.
John Wilkinson was telling his friend Steve Matthiasson how much he loved Matthiasson Vermouth, a sweet elixir made from the (white) Flora wine grape. Steve makes only a few hundred cases every two years, as there are only 10 or so acres of this varietal in all of California. Steve was immediately on board and wanted to make a cherry vermouth with wine grapes that evoke dark cherry flavors like Petit Sirah and Merlot. He suggested we add fresh Tartarian cherries. Thus the inspiration to create a new sweet vermouth to pair perfectly with our style of whiskeys. (One we could make more than a few hundred cases!) Partner Vermouth’s unique complexity comes from Steve’s knowledge of aromatic bitters and his ability to blend, taste, and tweak over and over until it’s perfect. Enjoy Partner in your favorite cocktail, neat as a digestive, over ice. . .
We’re not the first and definitely not the last to subscribe to this beautiful idiom by Mr. Faulkner. Fourteen years ago I listened intently to a taxi cab driver wax poetic about his upbringing in the Caribbean and his memories of distilling bathtub rum with his father and grandfather. The passion he had was infectious. It reminded me of how I feel about winemaking. The craft is similar yet different. Since then, the idea of distilling spirits has lingered with me. Just like it’s not particularly fun to drink alone, I thought “this will be a lot more fun with friends”. I reached out to wine business buddies that I’ve worked with for years and they said “giddy up. ” Through a succession of late nights and early mornings, sitting around half consumed bottles of various liquors trying to figure out what we liked and what we could add to make it unique, the answer was clear that our first spirit would have to be Bourbon. I never like to sit still, so once Straight Edge Bourbon was underway, my mind started drifting to other styles of whiskey. We released Slaughter House American Whiskey in June 2015 and have been humbled by the incredible support our fans have shown. Rye will be our next endeavor and we look forward to sharing it with you next year.