A new vermouth created by two brothers in Barcelona to challenge “the uptight nature of the drinks business” is being launched in the UK.
Twins Alex and Albert Virgili have drawn on their family’s wine expertise to develop El Bandarra Al Fresco which is a blend of local Grenache wines and natural Mediterranean botanicals including liquorice, mint, rose and citrus. It is cherry red in colour with ABV of 14.5%.
It follows the success of their first three vermouths under the name of El Bandarra – Spanish for “the rogue”: Vermut Red, Vermut White and Vermut Rosé.
With a modern, vibrant bottle design, the new El Bandarra Al Fresco is recommended for a simple serve of one part Al Fresco and two parts tonic water over ice, garnished with an orange slice.
The vermouths are made with grapes from the Virgili Bros vineyard at Casa Berger, near Barcelona in the Alt Penedès, which has been in continuous operation since 1878 and was bought by the Virgili family in 1962. They made vermouths for decades by the barrel for small local wine shops but launched their own brand with El Bandarra in 2014.
Talking about the new Al Fresco, Alex said: “This natural and refreshing aperitif sums up all of Barcelona’s best bits: the sunshine, the long days, the laid-back lifestyle and the eclectic mix of tradition and modernity. So, if you can’t make it to Barcelona this year, don’t worry, we’re bringing it to you.”
Virgili Bros has a mission to “challenge the uptight nature of the drinks business by creating original and enjoyable concepts” such as its El Bandarra Vermut range.
El Bandarra Vermut Red is made with Macabeo and Xarel·lo grapes plus more than 50 extracts of herbs, flowers and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, liquorice, aniseed, camomile, rosemary, bay leaf, hops and bitter orange – rested in oak barrels before bottling at 15% ABV.
El Bandarra Vermut White is an equal mix of Garnacha Blanca and Xarel·lo grapes with over 40 herbal extracts and botanicals such as vanilla and wormwood, while Vermut Rosé uses Rosé Grenache grapes along with red fruits and fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme. They are also both bottled at 15% ABV.