The perfect drink for hot days: Refreshingly sparkling, delicately sweet, and simultaneously invigorating, the ‘Bittersweet’ by Muster.Gamlitz effervescently bubbles over the ice cubes in the glass. Intense herbal aromas rise to the nose, while the palate tingles with the finely sparkling homemade tonic, underscored by the stimulating bitter note of vermouth.
With the summer drink Motif Bittersweet, Reinhard Muster from the Muster.Gamlitz Winery has created a regional alternative to the Aperol Spritz. At the same time, Motif Bittersweet represents a seductive entry into the world of vermouths.
The 0.33-liter bottle is available for a modest €3.49 in the winery’s online shop.
Motif by Muster
Experimenting with botanicals – that is, herbal extracts – has long been a passion for winemaker Reinhard Muster. The Motif product line is his very own niche for creative developments beyond wine production – and it opens up an entirely new world of flavors.
With Motif, I’ve created a playground where I indulge my passion for spirits and botanicals. I tinkered with the vermouth compositions for a long time. Today, I’m really proud of the spirited vermouth trio and the lively Bittersweet.Reinhard Muster on Motif
What’s inside the vermouth? The winemaker waves it off with a laugh: “Sorry, but apothecary secrets can’t be revealed.”
Spirits have always held a special place in the hearts of previous generations of the Muster family. Reinhard’s father, Josef Muster, has been a passionate distiller for over 60 years. The Muster.Gamlitz Winery has also worked with herbs long before the term “botanicals” became popular. However, the homemade vermouth eventually disappeared from the product list. As a dedicated winemaker, Reinhard Muster focused entirely on the vineyards and the cellar for many years. Yet, somewhere within him, the inclination for high-proof beverages persisted. About five years ago, curiosity got the best of him, and he set out to create a vermouth entirely to his taste. What followed was a long phase of experimenting and tasting – with results that Reinhard found unsatisfying.
Until one day in 2020, a friend from a family of apothecaries handed him a recipe from 1924. That was the breakthrough. The old manuscript provided the foundation for three magnificent vermouths:
Motif Vermouth White
Mild sweetness of orange and elderflower blends with the freshness of lemon zest. Complex and full-bodied with a slightly bitter vermouth note. Serving tip from the winemaker: The White Vermouth tastes especially good on ice, mixed with tonic, Prosecco, and soda.
Motif Vermouth Rosé
For those who love Bittersweet, they will appreciate the big brother, Vermouth Rosé. Fresh, fruity, and summery, it exhibits pleasant bitter notes, aromas of rose blossoms, citrus fruits, and red clover. The winemaker’s favorite way to enjoy it: on ice with tonic and a fresh grapefruit zest.
Motif Vermouth Red
The classic reinterpreted in red. Complex aromatics of cocoa, orange, vanilla, and cinnamon bark, rounded off with a touch of cardamom and wormwood. Full-bodied on the palate with subtle sweetness. Depth with strength. The winemaker prefers it in classic cocktails: as a Negroni or Manhattan, or stirred with whiskey. Kick back and enjoy the evening.
The Motif Vermouths are available for €27.50 each in the online shop. Link to the Online Shop
Reinhard Muster has evolved from a small five-hectare winegrower, practically unnoticed by the public, into an important player in Styria. Today, Muster cultivates more than 60 hectares of vineyards in and around Gamlitz. The calm and respectful winemaker classifies his wines into three lines. He labels ‘Classic’ as fruity, easy-drinking wines with the typical freshness of southern Styria. The ‘Illyr’ series includes wines from particularly ripe grapes that are a bit more robust, giving the vintage free rein and entering the market only after extended bottle aging. The most substantial wines are the single-vineyard wines at the top of the quality pyramid. His Monopole location, Ried Grubthal, in particular, has captured his heart – a south-southwest-exposed basin location at the foot of the winery.