“Primo” in Italian it means “first” and Primo del Lanzarote is the first vermouth made on the island. Although the project started officially back in 2017 its origins go back about 6 years. Its first public appearance was made during the Craft Fair in Mancha Blanca in September 2018, which is where I first heard of it.

PRIMO de Lanzarote Vermouth has been created by Davide Musci, Luca Fissolo and Alberto Sanino who are originally from Piedmont in the north-west of Italy and have been living in Lanzarote for a number of years. I met up with Davide Musci, to find out more (& to taste!) the latest addition to Lanzarote produced drinks:

 

Davide has been elaborating digestive liqueurs made with fruits and herbs investigating traditional Canarian recipes for years as a hobby. He has a varied background professionally including TV production, the restaurant business and property management. But as calm and laid back as he comes across, he seems to enjoy brewing up ideas and doesn’t shy away from a good challenge. I suspect that’s how the whole thing came about. Some years ago, following a tradition from his hometown, Turin, he came up with the idea of elaborating a vermouth using a quality wine such as a Lanzarote wine.

His friends and now business partners, Luca and Alberto -the owners and managers of Alma de Canarias, an artisanal company that produces perfumes and cosmetics- got involved in the project, contributing with their experience and helping with it the push that it needed.

Together they have created an original recipe for Lanzarote’s first vermouth, reworking recipes and experimenting macerating herbs and local plants like wormwood, coriander, thyme, elderberry, Canarian sage and Canarian saffron, prickly pear and the rind of oranges from Gran Canaria and above all using Malvasía and Diego grapes from Lanzarote.

Also, it’s been essential the collaboration, help & experience from wine-maker Francisco, from Bodegas Reymar – Los Perdomos where incidentally the vermouth is produced.

Davide also explained that they have been taken aback by the great interest and welcome that their vermouth has had so far. And I’m no expert but, if you try it, I’m sure you’ll understand why.

At the moment, the 75cl bottle has an initial recommended retail price between €17-18 and it can be bought at Queso Project in Arrecife. Or it can already tasted at Casa Carlos and La Chalanita restaurants in Playa Blanca, Sal y Pimienta Restaurant in Puerto del Carmen and Alchemistry Molecular Cocktail Bar in Puerto Calero. Davide and his partners are working very enthusiastically on the distribution through selected outlets. Keep an eye out on their Facebook page where they announce any new additions to this growing list: Primo Lanzarote on Facebook.

They will be attending the biggest Gastronomic Fair in the island in Teguise next month, on the 24th and 25 of November 2018, which will be an excellent opportunity not only to taste Lanzarote’s first vermouth but to meet the people behind this venture and chat to them.

In the pipeline they are already working on two more products:
– a Vermouth Rosso, the “red” variety of vermouth with prickly pear and caramelised Canarian palm honey, which will have more of an amber colouring than actually red and its expected to be ready in a couple of month’s time.
– and a Quinine Wine made out of Listán Negro grapes, at a later stage.

I, for one, can wait to try them both!

Not only I have seen a quality product but I have seen the passion put into every detail, including the label for example. It’s refreshing to see this enthusiasm and I wish PRIMO de Lanzarote every success in the future.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION:

Grape variety: Volcanic Malvasía and Diego
Type: White Vermouth
Alcoholic strength: 15%

TASTING NOTES:

Visual phase: clean and crystalline with bright yellow tones.
Smelling phase: Yellow and green fruits with balsamic and specific nuances out in the nose.
Tasting phase: aromatic an elegant entry, balanced acidity, sweetness and bitterness; intense impact note of wormwood (artemisia absinthium); bitter note of chinchona and gentian lutea; floral note of coriander, sage and elderberry; herbaceous note of satureja; citrus note of orange peel (from the Canary Islands); specific wood note of cinnamon, cassia and nutmeg.
Marriage: Excellent to accompany aperitifs, Iberian hams, cheeses, fish and some rice dishes. Ideal combined in classic and modern cocktails.
Serving temperature: ideally it should be served at about 6-8°C. Lemon peel or a slice of lemon can be added.
Served with ice (and soda) will become a more refreshing long-drink.

You can enjoy their promotional video here: