We all tend to give a nickname to the things we love, a nice way to show love and express affection. However, nicknames can reveal a lot about some characteristics or circumstances from which they are inspired. “Siset” is the affectionate nickname by which Montserrat Mascaró, current producer of the homonymous vermouth, used to call her grandfather Narciso (Narciset) Mascaró to whom she owes the original recipe for this delicious 100% Catalan vermouth, as she reveals in our latest interview in the Vermupedia of Las Vermudas.
Narciso “Siset” Mascaró was, in the 1940s, responsible for the first distillations of the Mascaró winery, which over time has become a company of absolute prestige in the production of Catalan distillates, exported and recognized worldwide. We have just revealed the first of the great secrets of this delicious vermouth: the alcohol used to strengthen the vermouth has been distilled with great wisdom for more than 80 years in the Mascaró winery’s own facilities.
“To produce this vermouth we distill the holandas (wine alcohol, N.d.R) and age them in our American oak barrels, bought by my grandfather himself, Narciso Mascaró,” Montserrat Mascaró explains to us with sublime elegance, “We distill the holandas from the native Ugni Blanc grape. which we grow on one of our two estates, the Mas Miquel estate, formerly owned by the monks of the neighboring Cistercian Monastery of Santes Creus in Tarragona” and here, Montserrat also reveals the second great secret of Siset vermouth: the wine. The autochthonous grapes grown on the same estates of the Mascaró winery shape the flavor and essence of this vermouth.
The grapes are grown on the estate, the wine is made on site and the alcohol is distilled and aged with great skill. The only thing missing is the big secret: the 30 botanicals carefully selected to respect a single law: the balance of flavors. Tradition in the cellar together with a mysterious aromatic bouquet, make Siset vermouth, a unique and inimitable Catalan vermouth. A vermouth that perfectly embodies the very philosophy of the Mascaró family: “from the vineyard to the bottle“.
Siset is a vermouth with a great intensity of flavor in the mouth and an excellent balance between acidity and bitterness. A sweet entry, a slight bitter evolution in the mouth and an elegant finish. Intense, long and fascinating, like the history of the Mascaró family.
Montserrat Mascaró, in the heart of the Penedés region, has managed to take advantage of the burdensome “inheritance” of grandfather Siset to create a Catalan vermouth worthy of being added to the great family of its well-known and delicious distillates, wines and cavas.