Alagna “Baglio Baiata” Vermouth Bianco

This is not your Uncle Frank’s vermouth, although it certainly could and perhaps should be. The Alagna “Baglio Baiata” Vermouth Bianco ($15 for a 1-liter bottle) manages to be sweet but bracing, a mouthful of flavor and energy and persistence — and deliciousness. This inzolio-based beauty from Sicily fairly assaults the nose with floral, fruit and spice aromas, then packs in citrus and nutty flavors before finishing with a sharpish edge. It’s perfect for a traditional (non-dry) martini or can be blended with sparkling wine for a swell low-alcohol cocktail (it’s 16.5%, low for a vermouth). Or serve it at either end of an evening, with cheeses and/or salty appetizers early on and as a digestif of sorts after a meal.

Available at Haskell’s, Farmington, Richfield, Lakeside and Lake Aire (Duluth).

Bill Ward