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The Modern Bar Cart Podcast

Feb 24, 2022

In this fragrant, vine-ripened deep dive with Birk O’Halloran, creator of Rockwell Vermouth, some of the topics we discuss include:

  • How Birk worked his way up the supply chain over the years, dabbling first in hospitality education, becoming a sommelier, working in the off-premise world, and eventually launching his own wine and vermouth brands.

  • What it means to make an American vermouth, and how that journey incorporated a unique botanical called Artemisia Californica, AKA California Sagebrush.

  • Why there’s not a lot of information available about vermouth recipes in the historical literature, and what that meant for Birk’s research and development process.

  • Then, we conduct an in-depth tasting of the Rockwell Sweet and dry vermouth. We talk about the uniquely American grape varietal used for the wine base, as well as some of the innovative, solera-aged extracts used to aromatize the end products.

  • Along the way, we explore Birk’s multi seasonal approach to his sagebrush sourcing, the implementation of various dried fruit extracts as flavorants, what you can learn when subjecting the world’s most popular vermouth brands to advanced laboratory testing, and much, much more.

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