Last month we had a dinner party. I was sent out to find some cooking sherry at the last-minute. After coming up empty at a few liquor stores by the house I stumbled upon two bottles of dry California cocktail sherry. Not being from Spain I was sure this was a disaster, but it was getting late and I was not going to another store. The gentleman at the store also offered me a deal if I bought the one that had, over time, lost its label. Deal struck I headed home. We never cooked with that sherry. It was magical and we all sat around drinking it in little port glasses untill sadly it was gone. We all speculated whether it was so good because of how old it might be or because of the store’s excellent storage temperature. The most likely reason it was so good might have been that none of us had any idea of what sherry wassupposed to taste like. Regardless, over a month later I went back and yes, of course, the other bottle was still there along with some other fun finds.
Notice the Dubonnet Rouge in the picture has the old version of the label. I don’t think it is really that old, but I wanted to buy another bottle anyway. The vermouths as a whole do not seem very special but more research is needed. The bottle of Martini & Rossi Bianco however looks really old.
The color is much darker than other biancos I have seen and there is a lot of sediment. I could not resist. Six dollars seemed a fair price for some history. I am not sure how safe I feel drinking it.
The mother lode might have been this rare bottle of Vandermint that came complete with a classic box, an intact seal and above all it was tagged “10$ off.” Twenty bucks marked down from thirty. Even if this was not rare and obscure the price would have been worth a go. Fifty-two proof (26% ABV) and imported from Holland this chocolate mint liqueur is supposed to be quite good. The paper seal is faded an I can see no real suggestion of a date. Before I crack it (or sell it) I need to find more info. The box and bottle are covered with depictions of Holland’s windmills and the cap is in the shape of a tulip and covered with years of liquor store dirt.