Atxa Dry Vermouth
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Destilerías Acha is one of the oldest businesses in continuous operation
in the Basque Country of Spain. Destilerías Acha grew and gained
recognition as one of Spain’s top distilleries until it began to fall into
neglect in the 1980s, but when Gabriel Acha took control of the distillery in
2002, he brought it back to solid ground. Gabriel’s revitalization renewed
traditional products like the Pacharán Acha and traditional Basque vermouths,
and drew inspiration from the example of founder Manuel Acha in exploring
Acha’s classically Basque vermouth syncs beautifully with the broader
vermouth tradition in Spain, heavily represented in Madrid, Barcelona, and
the Basque Country. Acha Blanco’s traditional botanicals include gentian,
wormwood, bitter orange, and wild herbs. These botanicals are macerated
in aguardiente – produced by Acha in a 130 year-old copper pot still – and
blended into a neutral Airén wine base, before being sweetened to 15% ABV.
In restaurants throughout the Basque Country, a weekend meal begins with a ceremonial vermouth service. Decanters of vermouth are presented on a tray with ice, sparkling water, olives, wedges of cut citrus, and two small bitters bottles: one full of Campari and the other filled with London Dry Gin. Each guest dictates their preferred garnish and ingredients, which the waiter then serves tableside. Acha’s classically Basque vermouth syncs beautifully with the broader vermouth tradition in Spain, heavily represented in Madrid, Barcelona, and the Basque Country. The botanicals are macerated in aguardiente – produced in a 130 year-old copper pot still – and blended into a neutral Airén wine base.
Tasting Notes: Made in a lighter style than other European red vermouths, the iconic Acha herbal notes are balanced with bright, fresh fruit, including sour cherry jam, plum skin, and dried Mission figs.
Pairing Notes: A beautiful red vermouth for lighter spirits, Acha Rojo is great with gin in a Martinez, with herbal liqueurs, blanco tequila, sherry, and Jacoulot L’Authentique Marc. When in doubt, serve on tap with a splash of soda water and green olives for a classic Vermouth hour, or “La Hora del Vermut”.