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Rated B+ Reviews Vermouth Wine

Review: Punt e Mes Vermouth

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wb73gus-Bg2MTHlEjHJGmFSHXZTgtph_yLhOsxrJ7voCola brown in color and dense with flavor, the venerable Punt e Mes is pretty much at the end of the line in the world of sweet vermouth. As brand owner Branca puts it, “The story goes that back in 1870 a stock broker, caught up in a debate with a few colleagues at Bottega Carpano, ordered a vermouth laced with half a dose of quina liqueur using a Piedmont dialect expression: ‘Punt e Mes’ (roughly translatable as ‘one and a half’).”

Like the Alessio vermouths we recently reviewed, Punt e Mes blurs the line between a sweet vermouth and an amaro. The nose is intensely bitter, with just a trace of sweetness to it. On the body, bitter orange, cloves, and quinine dominate before giving way to a finish that’s loaded with coffee, cola, and ample prune notes. Hints of cinnamon, some sweeter citrus notes — both lemon and orange — and a touch of gingerbread also emerge from time to time. The finish is just about equally bitter and sweet, which is quite a remarkable feat, actually.

Not a vermouth to be trifled with, Punt e Mes is best experienced in moderation in cocktails that demand — or deserve — complexity.

16% abv.

B+ / $27 / branca.it

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Punt e Mes Vermouth

$27
8.5

Rating

8.5/10
Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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3 Comments

  1. Nate June 23, 2015

    Thanks for the review. What cocktails can you see this being a good fit?

    I have never given my vermouths much thought – I’ve got a dry and a sweet? Perfect, we’re stocked. But, in simple cocktails like Negronis and Manhattans it’s obviously a big contributor to the overall drink profile. Clearly I need to pay a little attention to what vermouth I use, and why.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Null June 23, 2015

      Nate – we’ve got a few on the site, check here: http://www.drinkhacker.com/2015/05/04/recipe-2015-cinco-de-mayo-cocktails/ and http://www.drinkhacker.com/2008/01/13/original-recipe-the-thorny-toad/

      Punt e Mes is often called for by name in recipes, so a little Googling will turn up lots of ideas.

  2. David R. Moran June 29, 2019

    The obvious choice, to my mind, though seldom mentioned so not all that obvious, is to make the world’s simplest excellent manhattans and negronis with it. What I do anyway, to raves.

    Reply

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