Handcrafted with love in Switzerland

18 May 2018
3 min read
ALATA Vermouth’s unique taste is the result of a long maceration combining aromatic plants and fortified wine from Wallis. FOUR speaks to founder Hugo Pozzo di Borgo, to find out more about this Swiss-distilled vermouth so special.

Where did you grow up?

My family is native of Corsica, but I grew up on the Swiss border in Eastern France. A wild and sparsely populated region, surrounded by lakes and pine trees.


What did you aspire to be when you grew up?

Although I have no recollection of the reason for this choice, I deeply aspired to be a gold digger in America. This wish never came true, but I still kept a love for the wide-open spaces and American landscapes.


How did you find your way into the world of spirit production?

Step by step. I come from the wine world, but I have always had a particular interest in spirits and distillation. Vermouth was ideal because it combined the worlds of wine and alcohol, but also allowed me to have a much wider creative support.


Can you tell us a bit more about the story behind ALATA vermouth?

ALATA vermouth is above all the desire to make a different product, to reinterpret the codes of vermouth with an innovative approach to this drink often worked in too classic a way. Switzerland is a perfect place to produce vermouth because we make fabulous wines and cultivate a multitude of aromatic herbs in our mountains. All the tools are right here. We have therefore created a vermouth that reflects the identity of our regions by working exclusively with local products.


What do you think makes ALATA vermouth so special in your opinion?

I think we have developed a Vermouth with a unique taste, resembling no other. My rule is not to use more than 15 plants per recipe, which allows me to keep a beautiful aromatic clarity, and to work on the dynamics of, for example, acidity or bitterness. As a result, we are far from the “traditional” side that develops when too many different plants are used. We make dry vermouths, with a beautiful tension and a pronounced bitterness where one can easily find my past of wine grower in the approach of balances.


Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been working on recently?

There are lots of recipes under development. As is often the case in a young company, I lack a little time to devote myself as much as I would like to these projects, but we will soon release a rosé Vermouth as well as a smoked Vermouth.


What do you most enjoy about working as a distiller in the drinks business?

Encounters are for me the most attractive side of the alcohol business. It is a work of passionate people and therefore it is always fabulous to exchange with other producers, bar professionals and chefs.

I also greatly appreciate the creative side of this work, in reality there is little limit to what can be made and produced in terms of alcoholic beverages and as a result everything is subject to new ideas. Each discovery, each tasting can take you into new territory and stimulate your imagination.


Do you think that more people are entering this industry? 

Certainly, there are more and more people attracted to these trades because people want to get out of their offices, work with their hands and develop products in which they believe and can put all their convictions. The return of the local and the hand-made also encourages many people to make the jump and to embark on the production of alcoholic and non-alcoholic products.

In a sense, we are witnessing the return of a mastered and professionalized craft industry, as well as its’ enhancement.


Can you tell me FOUR of your favourite recent creations using ALATA vermouth?

When it comes to cocktails, I’m a classic lover. On a personal level, I have pleasure with a “Reverse Martini” which sublimates our product to perfection, or a “Manhattan” with a well-chosen bourbon.

In the register of creations, I had pleasant surprises including a “Sour” (ALATA White, mango puree, egg white, chartreuse elixir, lemon juice) as well as a simple but effective ALATA stretched out with tonic with a well worked garnish.


What interesting trends/themes are going on in the world of mixology?

Mixology is developing at V speed in our regions, new cocktail bars are opening every week and consumers are increasingly demanding inventive and well-made drinks. Mixology offers a perfect approach to meet customers’ desire to drink less, but better.


What’s next for ALATA?

For the future, we will continue to work hard to develop our business, increase our distribution and expand our product line while keeping the spirit that has made our identity.

The vermouth trend has only just begun, and I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere soon.



Find out more about ALATA Vermouth here | www.alata.love