This month's mixologist is Vermuteria's Head Barman, Jonathan Benoliel. A man who loves learning and is a fan of all things spirits - especially vermouth! We're proud to work with and build our relationship with one of the newest and most innovative bars in London.
Jonathan began his life in hospitality 10 years ago, as a barman at The Modern Pantry, quickly realising his love for making cocktails and learning about the production of alcohol. Deeply interested in distillation and production Jonathan travelled around Italy, Spain and various vineyards in France and the UK, constantly learning about the creation of local spirit such as grappa, vermouth, brandy and various wines. "I was trying to understand why some people decide to make wine when other prefer to ferment, fortify or distill the grapes"
"After almost 6 years spent at The Modern Pantry, I met with Alex Wolpert, founder of East London Liquor Company. I worked there as a GM for about 4 and half years. For me it was the most immersive experience as a bartender; I had access to product and methods that no one else would. Working in a bar or restaurant that actually makes their own raw material was something I couldn't have dreamt of! We were able to explore our menus the same way and had total freedom in their development.
Later last year, I heard that a place has opened as a Vermut bar in London - I knew it was made for me. I have always been a huge fan of aperitif, bitter and vermouth. I like simple, well made drinks. This is the ethos at Vermuteria. We stay true to classics as much as we can."
"Vermuteria is inspired by the aperitivo culture in France, Italy and Spain. It is also connected to the cycling grand tour through its relationship with vermouth. We have the one of the largest vermouth selections in the UK, with around 90 different lines excluding the vintage bottles. We are all about well executed simplicity.
Only being 6 months old, Vermuteria is all about the new and we're currently developing our range of drinks options, we've tweaked our Negroni offering by adding a Golden one and we have a Spritz menu ready-to-go for the summer! After all, low alcohol and spritz are what people are after.
Eight years ago it was all about the mojito but now we're about the Negroni - bitter drinks with a stronger flavour profile. An elegant, easy to drink cocktail."
"The story derives from contratto Bianco. We have an old bottle at the bar that I was wondering how it would taste, when I saw the modern version I was not impressed by the labeling of the bottle. So I decided to compare the old and the new in taste. Trust me they are both fantastic but the modern version is sensational!
A friend of mine also introduced me to Tempus China, those two spirits are my discovery of the year. They match perfectly with the ELLC batch 1 gin to make this incredible drink. (Don't get me wrong, Campari is what makes a negroni a negroni, but trying new brands is fun and as tasty too."
The drink of the moment - a spritz is another firm favourite of Vermuteria, meet Jonathan in this short video whilst he mixes up one of his favourites.