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Noilly Prat Vermouth

Noilly Prat Vermouth

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Noilly Prat Vermouth: A Savoury Sip of Southern France

Noilly Prat, a cornerstone of French vermouth, boasts a rich history and a flavour profile that elevates countless cocktails. Produced in Marseillan, a sun-drenched town overlooking the Mediterranean, Noilly Prat embodies the essence of the South of France. This detailed tasting note explores the unique characteristics of Noilly Prat, guiding you through its aroma, taste, and ideal serving suggestions.

Aromatic Allure

Noilly Prat's charm begins with its inviting bouquet. Dominant notes of chamomile and dried botanicals, reminiscent of meadows bathed in warm sunshine, fill the nose. Hints of citrus peel, particularly lemon and grapefruit zest, add a touch of vibrancy. Underlying savoury whispers of white pepper and sea salt pique the senses, hinting at the complexity to come.

A Symphony of Flavours

The first sip of Noilly Prat is a revelation. The initial impression is dry and crisp, with a refreshing wave of citrus acidity that dances on the tongue. The botanical influences blossom on the palate, offering a symphony of flavours. Chamomile, along with hints of dandelion root and gentian, create a distinct herbal character. Delicate notes of honey and orange peel provide a touch of sweetness, beautifully balanced by the underlying salinity and white pepper spice. The finish is long and lingering, leaving a pleasant dryness and a renewed appreciation for the subtle complexities.

The Art of Serving Noilly Prat

Noilly Prat's versatility makes it a valuable asset in any home bar. Here are some suggestions to experience its brilliance:

  • Neat or on the Rocks:  For a true appreciation of Noilly Prat's character, enjoy it neat, chilled, or on the rocks. A twist of lemon or orange peel enhances the citrus notes, while a green olive adds a delightful savoury counterpoint.
  • The Classic Martini: Noilly Prat's dry style makes it a perfect partner for gin in a classic martini. Combine 2 parts gin with 1 part Noilly Prat, stir well with ice, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist for a timeless cocktail experience.
  • The French Twist:  For a taste of France, try the "French Martini." Combine 2 parts vodka, 1 part Noilly Prat, and 1 part pineapple juice. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge or maraschino cherry for a vibrant twist.
  • The Vesper:  Made famous in Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, the Vesper is a sophisticated cocktail showcasing Noilly Prat's elegance. Combine 1 part gin, 1 part vodka, and ½ part Noilly Prat. Shake well with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon peel for a touch of sophistication.
  • The Manhattan (Dry):  Substitute Noilly Prat for sweet vermouth in a classic Manhattan recipe for a drier and more herbal twist. Combine 2 parts rye whiskey, 1 part Noilly Prat, and a dash of bitters. Stir well with ice and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry for a delightful departure from the traditional Manhattan.

Beyond the Cocktail

Noilly Prat's culinary applications extend beyond cocktails.  A splash of Noilly Prat adds depth and complexity to sauces, pan reduction drizzles, and marinades for fish, poultry, and vegetables.

In Conclusion

Noilly Prat Vermouth is a versatile and flavourful spirit, perfect for both seasoned cocktail enthusiasts and curious newcomers. Its dry style, complex botanical character, and refreshing acidity make it a welcome addition to any bar. So, raise a glass, explore the delightful world of Noilly Prat, and discover a taste of the sunny South of France.

Additional Notes:

  • Noilly Prat offers two primary expressions: Original Dry and Extra Dry. The Original Dry, explored in this tasting note, boasts a slightly sweeter profile with a more pronounced herbal character. The Extra Dry is a touch drier with a more prominent citrus influence.
  • When storing Noilly Prat, keep it refrigerated after opening to preserve its freshness for up to three months.

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