It’s rare to see a vinegar made from vermouth. Why go through the trouble of making vermouth (fortified wine with secret blends of botanicals) if you’re gonna just turn around and make it into vinegar? It’s cheaper and easier to just make wine vinegar. But there’s nothing cheap or easy about this vinegar from Mollerussa, Spain. It’s made using the Shützenbach fermentation method of making vinegar. The idea is to expose as much of the vermouth to air as possible by circulating it through sections of a large tank. The more air in contact with the vermouth, the more bacteria can convert the alcohol in the vermouth into vinegar.
It’s not a fast method, but it captures the more delicate flavors and aromas of the vermouth in the process. As a result, the vinegar is wonderfully herbaceous and light on the tongue. You can use it anywhere you might use white wine vinegar, but expect a lot more flavor from each pour. Makes fantastic vinaigrettes and is great drizzled over grilled fish or fresh vegetables.
Zingerman's Food Tours is visiting Spain in October 2014. Join us for a behind the scenes journey to traditional food makers like this.