Vermouth is a combination of wine, wormwood and various botanicals, which through the ages has been used for reasons both medicinal and magical. A vital cocktail component as well as inherently drinkable on its own, Vermouth is an unchallenged staple. When Maidenii was conceived, there was no Australian Vermouth on the market. Shaun and Gilles wanted to fill this niche to showcase Australia’s unique native botanicals. Their Vermouth uses fresh wine to make a vibrant product distinct from others. Over the last few years, Maidenii has grown from a boutique product available to the lucky patrons at select bars into an awarded and sought after premium spirit distributed both in the new world and the old.
Maidenii is concocted using over 34 botanical, 12 of them native. Each style of Maidenii has its own signature blend of botanicals that have been chosen to best complement the wine base and each other.
Our heroes are Wattle Seed, Strawberry Gum, River Mint, Sea Parsley and of course Wormwood. To these we match carefully selected accompaniments that add their own unique properties to Maidenii Classic, Sweet and Dry.
What is Vermouth?
The ingredients that make up Vermouth may be simple enough, but when they are combined with care and attention they create a complex apertif.
1. Wine – Wine makes up the base of Vermouth and as such is one of the most important elements. Our grapes are sourced from central Victoria and pressed and fermented to best suit the style of vermouth we are creating. Our vermouths contain a range of grape varieties, and we work closely with our growers to assure that we use only the best quality fruit and consequently the finest wine in the end product.
2. Fortifying Spirit – While there are many different spirits that can be used to fortify vermouth, from wheat to barley or even sugar cane, we choose to use grape spirit. While numerous factors went into this decision, we essentially were guided by the inspiration of matching the fermented grape base of vermouth with a distilled grape fortifier.
3. Sweetener – Due to the careful selection of grapes and botanicals, we have eliminated the need to add additional sweeteners to our vermouths. While many other vermouths require the addition of caramel, grape must or plain old sugar, we ensure our grapes are picked at the perfect ripeness and carefully fermented to retain the natural sweetness. We believe this makes for a much more integrated and textural vermouth.
4. Wormwood – The versatile wormwood is the key botanical of vermouth. It provides the backbone, contributing a bitter yet floral base-note to all the other flavours. We use Artesmia Absenthium wormwood, which we source fresh on our ‘Wormwood Walkabouts’.
5. Supporting Botanicals – Supporting botanicals round out and complete vermouth. Because vermouth predates modern trade routes, producers traditionally used botanicals close to hand. We honour that tradition by using as many native botanicals as possible, a practice made easier by the great versatility and value of Australian botany. Learn more about our key botanticals here.