Appreciating the value of traditions, of “lifelong” local products, of the exclusive, was common in a time that will never return… or maybe it will.
Disguised under the new anglicism of “craft” or better translated as “artisanal”, “the usual” is back in fashion in vermouths, as Jorge Cuesta, producer of Zecchini vermouth madrileño, tells us in our interview at Vermupedia. The authentic vermouth of always “is already here”, in his words, “and it has come back to stay”.
Jorge Cuesta tells us about vermouth with that typical wisdom of men who have dedicated a life to the search for authentic flavors, men of yesteryear, simple and cheerful, humble but determined. Characteristics that we also find in his vermouth.
If now vermouth is at its peak, Zecchini vermouth never ceased to be, its formula being the same as that which grandfather Pedro first made in 1940 in his small tavern, Bodegas Cuesta, in the Lavapiés neighborhood in Madrid.
In those convulsive years, Jorge tells us, nothing was certain, not even the very name of that artisan vermouth, provisionally called A.S. and then Italianized in the ’70s in “Zecchini” as a tribute to the company’s winemaker and the great fame of Italian vermouths. In those years, Zecchini was the best-selling vermouth in Madrid bars.
Today it is the most typical vermouth, Jorge assures us, made with a mixture of Airén and Malvar grapes, native grapes from the Madrid area. Although hermeticism is maximum regarding botanicals, Jorge reveals to us how a secret mixture of up to thirty botanicals, rigorously natural, makes Zecchini vermouth an authentic product.
Jorge advises us to drink the vermouth with ice, cold and in a wide glass, where a good slice of orange can fit for the red version or a wedge of lime for the white version. A symphony of flavors and aromas guided by the solid traditional structure of the base wine of this vermouth. According to him, the vermouth is complete like this, without soda.
“Vermouth is a tribute to life” in the words of Jorge, “for this reason we have created editions with different labels dedicated to the history of Madrid”, the bottle changes but the vermouth remains the same, with its “traditional formula” , unchanged for more than 80 years.
Jorge Cuesta is a producer who has managed to capture in his vermouth all the experience of his life, entirely dedicated to the search for the typical authentic vermouth. He search awarded with three medals: one bronze for the white vermouth, one silver for the “Original Formula” and finally one gold for the “Nero” version at the Spirit Selection in Brussels.
Congratulations Jorge for continuing to keep alive the flavor of the authentic, “of the usual” and the vermouth “of all life”.