Partner Spotlight: Rockwell Vermouth
Negroni is one of my favorite cocktails, and I wanted to make an expression of the negroni that fit into the Drinkmanship line. We decided to introduce tropical flavors like pineapple and lime, reinventing this serious cocktail into a more vibrant, almost tiki-like drink. A good negroni means it is made with a good vermouth, and we decided to partner with Rockwell Vermouth Company out of California.
We make burnt sugar syrup in our production facility for our line Tippleman's cocktail syrups. For years, Birk O’Halloran, owner of Rockwell Vermouth Co., has been purchasing our burnt sugar syrup in bulk to produce their vermouth. Their vermouth is extremely unique to other vermouths on the market and their dedication to producing a quality product aligns so well with our business.
And bringing the relationship full circle, we use Rockwell Vermouth to make our Tropical Negroni.
Q&A with Birk O'Halloran:
1. How did you begin Rockwell Vermouth?
In 2012, I found myself surrounded by people making vermouth. The bartender at the restaurant I was a regular at was making his own vermouth. Whenever I came in, we would end up discussing his latest batch and recipe. Around the same time, I got an opportunity to meet the founder of Imbue Vermouth from Oregon and work with him on a market launch. That same year my winemaking mentor released a vermouth. This all sparked a deep interest in vermouth and watching their various projects develop formed the foundation for my own philosophy on vermouth. After years of tasting and watching, I realized there might be an opening in the world of vermouth for me to add to the conversation.
2. We love Rockwell Vermouth in our Tropical Negroni. What makes your vermouth unique from others on the market?
The central tenet of Rockwell Vermouth Co. is a focus on native ingredients. Each vermouth is an expression of American terroir. Ingredients like California sage brush, sun dried black mission fig and sarsaparilla make of the backbone of our sweet vermouth. We also use no artificial flavors or colorings, every herb and spice it brought in whole and the flavors are extracted in house.
However, it’s not just enough for me that our vermouths express terroir and are made from natural ingredients, they also must make a great drink! While developing vermouths, every potential recipe is tested in dozens of classic cocktails and some new recipes.
3. Rockwell Vermouth was named Top 100 Spirits of 2022 by Wine Enthusiast. (Congrats!) What’s next for Rockwell Vermouth Co.?
So much! We just launched our first of a series of Rockwell Reserves. These vermouths are limited edition single cask releases. Each one unique and finished in a different type of barrel, from bourbon, chardonnay to absinthe and more. We are also in the planning stages for a new production space that will incorporate a restaurant/bar with the same “All American” philosophy our vermouths have.