Atamán is a traditional Barbadillo brand, which was once hugely popular, but got lost somewhere along the way. Thanks to Armando Guerra, Barbadillo’s ‘special projects’ guy, it has been rediscovered as a small batch production of Vermut (note, it’s not referred to as ‘Vermouth’ in Andalusia, but Vermut). It is made using a Manzanilla base, and blended with a small portion of incredibly concentrated old Vermouth and rare vinos quinados (Quinine wines), which have been ageing in the Barbadillo cellars for circa 50 years. Vinos quinados are typically bitter, aromatised aperitivos made from chinchona bark, the main source of Quinine, which became a wonder drug used to treat malaria, among other health dispositions, in the 18th century when it was introduced to Europe. Atamán Vermut is comprised of 20 different aromatics, locally sourced from Andalusia: quassia bark (amargo), absinth, rosemary, elderberry, and of course, the defining feature of Andalusia’s foodscape – the Seville orange.
Atamán sits up on a high pedestal as THE ultimate dirty-martini vermut. The bitter charm and savoury glory of artichoke and green olive brine balance superbly with the juxtaposing muscovado sugar, sweet Seville orange peel, and eucalyptus. This Vermut is complex, elegant, and, in its own spectacularly bitter way, loaded with charisma. By all means, pour it on ice with a citrus garnish – delicious! - but if you are going to choose one way to drink this Vermut – it is with olives and (lots of) gin!