Bianca Miraglia is a one woman vermouth-making machine. She forages for many of her ingredients, only uses local products and refuses financial assistance. Her start-up, Uncouth Vermouth, only produces a few hundred cases of product every year, and that’s how Miraglia likes it.
Bianca Miraglia, 30, decided to join the trend in craft liquor creation that started a few years ago but is taking it on all on her own. She started a one woman vermouth-making company called Uncouth Vermouth boasting a variety of seasonal, locally-sourced flavors ranging from beets and squash to chile and lavender.
Miraglia was tired of the mass-produced vermouth people are used to seeing in their parents’ liquor cabinets that has in all likelihood expired a decade ago and wanted to bring something fresh, all-natural and stubbornly idealist to the table. Uncouth Vermouth recently found its home in a former billiards hall in Red Hook and is due to have a tasting room open in the summer of 2014.
For now, it’s Miraglia’s flavor laboratory where she spends twelve or more hours a day slaving away on her immaculate fortified wine creations. Miraglia can rattle off just about any chemical, flavoring agent or preservative that finds its way into industrial or mass produced alcohol products, and proves to be a wealth of information to anyone interested in learning a few things about vermouth and then some.
Before starting Uncouth Vermouth, Miraglia worked at wineries, as a beverage consultant and as a sommelier on both coasts. That’s where she gained an encyclopedic knowledge of flavor profiles and grape varieties, but she also learned a great deal about edible plants from her mother, which has allowed her to forage for many of her ingredients, which she only allows herself to do within a 40-mile radius of New York City.
(Headline and tags)
Title: One Woman Army: Crafting the Ideal Vermouth
Tags: vermouth, uncouth, red hook, bianca miraglia, craft liquor, artisanal liquor, cocktail culture
I’m a one woman army in Red Hook, Brooklyn… not far from here at all.
We’re in, people are saying all the time, a golden age right now, where people are really taking liberties and expressing themselves creatively in liquid form and this is one way that I’m doing it.
I’ve experimented at this point with close to 300 different vermouths and a lot of them don’t work. You know I tried to make a seaweed vermouth but it was so disgusting, I didn’t even want to cook with it. It was just awful.
All ingredients that I find within 40 miles from here, that’s something that’s very important to me.
So the vermouth that I brought for you guys today, it's one that has 17 plants in it and I did a double infusion so i strained it after first infusion with 16 different plants and I re-infused it with cascade and nugget hops... So kind of an unusual combination of worlds, so to speak.
It’s been kind of a mission of mine, I stand on a soap box as often as possible. The way that people have understood that what I’m doing isn’t the poser crap is because I’m the person at every single public tasting, every industry tasting it’s me, you can ask me where every ingredient comes from. You can ask me what’s in everything that I’m doing and I’ll tell you. I have absolutely nothing to hide and I’ve always been that way. I think that transparency is really key.
Uncouth Vermouth: uncouthvermouth.com
Village Voice: blogs.villagevoice.com/forkintheroad/2013/01/drink_vermouth_nyc.php
Music by Rioux: rioux.fm
Video by Oresti Tsonopoulos: orestimusic.com