So I have read snippets concerning the existence Rose Vermouth for a few years now but have yet to get my hands on a bottle...anyone that knows me knows I just can't abide this sort of thing. Well, I am pleased to announce that I have locked down a recipe for it and I could not be happier. I make it a case at a time and would suggest doing the same or similar. As with most recipes that require infusion and balancing, volume cures all.
This recipe is made in two stages the first infusion takes at least a week, longer is better.
Stage 1) Fortifier
1 .750 bottle of Everclear
2 oz. jigger dried roses
2 oz. jigger dried jasmine
1 oz. jigger grains of paradise
-infuse for at least a week
1 case dry rose (my boy K found me an 05 Rhone for $3.00 a bottle!)
3 cups dried rose buds (I like the Chinese ones available through Le Sanctuaire, if using the more common Mexican loose petals, bump up the amount a little)
2 cups dried jasmine
1 cups dried lotus
2 oz. jigger grains of paradise
1 oz. jigger quassia bark (careful here this stuff is bitter!)
1/2 cup honey
Combine in stock pot, let soak for at least one hour then move to stove, cover and cook on a low flame for 30 min or until the color has leached out of the roses. Let it cool, then strain though a china cap and loose cheese cloth being sure to ring dry (lots of goodies tied up in the flowers and stuff, squeeze it out!) Strain the infused Everclear the same way and marry into wine.
Now taste. It should be just slightly oxidised, enough to keep the floral notes from being overbearing and a little bitter on the finish. If the quassia has over infused (it happens...powerful stuff) add honey or a fresh bottle of wine. If you are careful to let the wine cool before adding spirit, the proof will be high enough to rebottle in the original wine bottles and store on the shelf. As with any vermouth, it is best to refrigerate once the bottles have some air in them.
I will post some drinks recipes using this later in the week.