About Atsby Amberthorn Vermouth
Atsby Vermouth comes in three varieties: Amberthorn, Armadillo Cake and Armadillo Cake Reserve.
Infused with rare herbs and spices, including Chinese anise, French lavender and holy basil, Amberthorn is aromatic and dry, with herbal and floral notes (perfect in a martini without a twist). "It's a little bit thorny because it's a little bit delicate," says Ford. "The botanicals we use are rare indeed," he adds, "and so we make only very limited quantities."
Armadillo Cake is similarly infused with a variety of rare herbs, spices and flowers, including like cardamom, quassia, orange peel, Japanese shiitake mushrooms and nutmeg. Spicer than Atsby Amberthorn, it is medium-bodied and delicious.
Armadillo Cake Reserve is made by maturing Atsby Amadillo Cake in used oak barrels for nearly three years. "During maturation, the 32 delicious flavors of Armadillo Cake continued to evolve, and interlace, and brighten," says Ford. Like a whiskey whose flavors deepen and distend as it spends time in the barrel, the mouthfeel ripened into what feels like a silky cascade of exotic, yet familiar flavors.
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Atsby Vermouth — produced just outside of New York City — is leading a resurgence of world-class vermouth produced in the United States.
Atsby is the dream and creation of Adam Ford, a lawyer by training but a vintner by calling. Like so many before him, Ford's muse is his wife; her Italian heritage led him to discover a love and passion for vermouth. You see, while Americans typically associate vermouth as the backbone of Martinis and Manhattans, Europeans drink vermouth neat or over ice. Despite its distinct flavors and smoothness, vermouth fell out of favor as a standalone drink among Americans in the 1960s, and domestic production virtually disappeared.
After a transcendent experience drinking a glass near Mont Blanc, Ford set out to create a new style of vermouth — one that paid homage to its European heritage yet reflected a New World aesthetic. Ford discovered a fine chardonnay from the North Fork wine region on Long Island, and a delicious apple brandy from the Finger Lakes in New York to fortify the vermouth. After tinkering with the formulas in his Manhattan apartment, Ford knew he had something special on his hands.
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