Try out the recipe for a Summer's Funeral cocktail »

From The Book of Vermouth

Contributed articles and stories
Subscribe to
Summer's Funeral, Book of Vermouth

Summer's Funeral, Book of Vermouth [©Hardie-Grant]

<i>The Book of Vermouth</i> by Shaun Byrne and Gilles Lapalus


Bartender Shaun Byrne and winemaker Giles Lapalus have written a comprehensive guide to vermouth, aptly namedThe Book of Vermouth.  It's a beverage commonly thought of as a spirit but in fact it is a wine, and it has a surprisingly long history in Australia.

Vermouth is the base of many cocktails, indeed a classic Martini simply is not without it.

It's also a complex drink with the essentials all adding their own variations to the end product – the grape varieties, botanicals and the key ingredient, wormwood.

Of course no book of drinks would be complete without plenty of recipes to show off said beverage and this is a complete guide after all! It has 100 recipes to make the most of this drink and this one has a special place for the author:

Shaun Byrne writes:

This was the first Maidenii cocktail, written way back in 2012.

Maidenii Classic vermouth works really well with the autumnal flavours of pomegranate and apple. Be sure to invest in real grenadine rather than red sugar syrup and, while the brittle isn’t mandatory, it certainly is delightful to nibble on while drinking this cocktail on a chilly autumn evening.

Summer's Funeral


  • 30 ml (1 floz) Maidenii Classic vermouth
  • 30 ml (1 floz) calvados
  • 15 ml (½ floz) grenadine
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 block rock ice
  • apple fan, to garnish (below)*
  • Macadamia Brittle, to serve. See recipe here»


Combine all the ingredients except the ice in a chilled Old Fashioned glass and stir to mix. Add a block of rock ice and stir briefly, to chill and dilute the drink.

Garnish with an apple fan and serve with the brittle on the side.

*Apple Fan:

I know what you’re thinking: fruit fans are so retro. But really, isn’t that all part of the fun? In fact, I find it’s one of the easiest ways to
put a professional spin on your cocktails, and you can use a variety of fruit, including apples, pears, peaches and nectarines. No matter what you use, they always look great.


  • Cut the cheek off an apple then cut it into three 1 cm (½ in) slices.
  • Fan them out and plant them in your cocktail – so simple, yet so effective!

Another method, favoured by my old boss at Gin Palace, Ben Luzz, is to :

Cut an apple wedge, then sliced a diamond shape into the apple skin about 1 cm (½ in) from each end.

Cut towards the middle so the two cuts join about 1 cm (½in) from the bottom. If successful, you’ll have a wedge within a wedge.

Repeat on the next smallest wedge and see how many wedges you can get.


Read more about The Book of Vermouth here »

This extract from The Book of Vermouth by Shaun Byrne and Giles Lapalus is reproduced with the kind permission of the publisher.

The Book of Vermouth by Shaun Byrne and Giles Lapalusis published by Hardie Grant Books (Melb, Vic; Jul 2018; Hb; 208pp RRP A$39.99). It is available at good bookshops and can be purchased online via »

Our Recommendations

To see our recommendations, ratings and reviews you must be a logged-in subscriber.

To subscribe please enter your email address in the "Subscribe Now - it's Free" box on the right and click the "Join" button, or fill in this form >

November 14th, 2018
Subscribe today - it's free
Subscribe Button

Subscribe now - for news and reviews, our newsletter (optional), to join our forums, and more.

Enter your email address and click the Subscribe button. We respect your privacy.

Log in

Enter your username...

Enter your password...

Log In Button

Forgotten your password?


Kerry's corner - your free benefits
Premium listing


Premium listing
Mornington Peninsula (Vic): Peninsula Summer Music Festival - 1-10 Jan 2020

Jancis Robinson

This summer, the Mornington Peninsula will once again be filled with the sounds of world-class music at the annual Peninsula Summer Music Festival »