Aside from the fact that I love their vermouth, this is also a really nice opportunity to carry a superior product made by people I personally know and admire. The Capitoline Rosé Vermouth has a sweetness to it, and a light spice element, but it's not overpowering. This vermouth integrates really nicely with a lot of things, and it balances well with floral elements, which is something I often find difficulty with." -- Adam Bernbach, bar director for 2 birds 1 stone, doi moi, Estadio, and Proof
from a list of essential locally distilled spirits in the Washington Post:
Vermouth: Rosé Vermouth by Capitoline
Why you'll like it: Most cocktail fans stock two kinds of vermouth: sweet vermouth, which is used in Manhattans and Negronis, and dry vermouth, which is a key ingredient in a classic martini. But for something different, try Capitoline's Rosé Vermouth. The brainchild of Etto co-owner Peter Pastan and bar manager Kat Hamidi, Capitoline's Rosé shows off a light sweetness and notes of baking spice, making it equally suitable for a Manhattan or sipping on its own on the rocks.
Try before you buy: Capitoline doesn't have a distillery - its vermouths are made at New Columbia, the home of Green Hat Gin. Stop by during New Columbia's Saturday hours, when you can sample the rosé, white and dry vermouths. They are usually featured in one or two cocktails - along with Green Hat, naturally - at New Columbia's tasting bar.
New Columbia Distillers, 1832 Fenwick St. NE. 202-733-1710. capitolinevermouth.com. Open Saturday.
from the Washingtonian:
Put down the Campari. There is a citrusy new aperitivo in town. The team behind Capitoline Vermouth just released Tiber, a delectably bitter, orange liqueur that is produced in partnership with New Columbia Distillers, the makers of Green Hat Gin. So yes, local booze nerds, you can go ahead and fashion an all made-in-DC negroni (minus the citrus peel, of course, unless you have a greenhouse).
Capitoline partners Kat Hamidi (formerly the manager/beverage director at Etto) and Peter Pastan (co-owner of Etto and 2 Amys) worked all of last year to create their first liqueur. Like their collection of local rosé, white, and dry vermouths, Tiber is made with a grain to glass approach, starting with a base spirit of red winter wheat that is harvested in Virginia. (Green Hat uses the same as the base for its seasonal gin.) The alcohol is then infused with tons of fresh citrus and Seville orange, according to Hamidi, plus warm spices like cardamom and ginger, and bittering agents like wormwood. Cochineal, an old school coloring ingredient, lends the aperitivo its ruddy orange hue (throwback indeed...the natural dye, favored by a number of craft spirit producers, has been extracted from red insects since the 16th century).
from the Washington CityPaper:
The housemade rosé vermouth at Etto could easily be mistaken for a cocktail. Aside from the lovely pinkish-garnet hue, it's citrusy and slightly sweet with a nice herbal, bitter finish. And why suspect vermouth when, well, who orders a glass of vermouth these days? But if you've ever visited Spain, you'll recognize the presentation: garnished with a pickled pepper, olive, and orange slice, and served with a soda siphon to turn the aperitif into a spritzer.
Etto is one of very few places in D.C. where you will find vermouth prominently featured on the menu...Etto manager Kat Hamidi and co-owner Peter Pastan have teamed up with New Columbia Distillers to bottle and sell their vermouth, which they're calling Capitoline Vermouth. The first batch will debut in restaurants and bars next week with retail locations to follow. The product will be the first commercially available D.C.-made vermouth.
The challenge is that most American drinkers tend to think of vermouth as that other ingredient in a martini or Manhattan. This new wave of vermouth advocates aims to show people that it can stand on its own, or at the very least, be just as important to the quality and character of a cocktail as the type of gin or whiskey.
In the U.S. today, vermouth is often an afterthought, while spirits are the main attraction. But with more domestic vermouths becoming available and bars experimenting with their own interesting interpretations, Hamidi believes vermouth is finally starting to get its due...
With Capitoline, Hamidi and Pastan are producing a white and a rosé vermouth out of New Columbia's Ivy City distillery. The rosé is a Sangiovese wine from a California vineyard co-owned by Pastan. The other is a blend of aromatic dry white varietals. Both vermouths have a similar citrusy herbal character and don't shy away from a little bitterness. We think bitter is kind of an undervalued element in a flavor profile, Hamidi says. She adds that it's very wine centric: They didn't want to cover up the vermouth with a heavy-handed dose of botanicals and sugar since it is a wine-based product, after all.