Arthur Combe, owner and head bartender at the Marrow “bistronomic” restaurant in Paris.
Do you remember when you first came across Dolin?
It was when I started work at the Curio Parlor bar, part of the Experimental Cocktail Club Group, in 2008. There were already several vermouths on the French market. The bar at the Experimental Cocktail Club was already a year old, the Curio Parlor only a few months’ old. Both of them were among the few establishments determined to list the very best products. In 2011, I created the "Vieux Rectangle" using the Dolin Rouge. This vermouth gives the cocktail a more delicate and subtle touch compared to a classic red vermouth thanks to its light, versatile character.
What Dolin product(s) do you have on your back bar?
I have almost all the vermouths available in the restaurant: Dolin Dry, Dolin Blanc, Dolin Rouge and Suédois Dolin. I’m in love with this delectable vermouth. It is remarkable for its lovely vegetal bitterness and its very pleasant and well-balanced sweet side. It inspires me to create all kinds of cocktails.
What type of cocktails do you make with Dolin? The classics or contemporary creations?
Dolin adds a certain nuance to most cocktails. For the classics, I create dry Martinis and some slightly dry versions of the Manhattan with the Dolin Dry. I find its vinous character very useful in all kinds of mixes. With the Dolin Rouge, I tend to create slightly sweet cocktails such as the Vieux Carré or Americanos. I don’t know any classics based on white vermouth, so I use it for fruit-based creations. For example, a grog made from calvados, tea bitters, falernum, yellow chartreuse and Dolin Blanc. And lastly, the highly aromatic Suédois Dolin is perfect for seasonal and distinctive creations.
Are you a fan of the recent food & cocktail pairing trend?
For me, a cocktail combines too many flavors to pair with a dish, and conversely, a dish is too aromatic to be paired with such a complex beverage. But there are always exceptions, especially with cheese and certain types of dessert. I really like to enjoy a dry vermouth with a raclette. Its dry, oxidized profile is a nice foil for melted and hard cheeses.
Dessert: A derivative of the Manhattan with Dolin dry vermouth paired with a Fall pear dessert.
This is a variant of the Manhattan based on Benedictine and Dolin dry vermouth which marries perfectly with a large number of spirits. In general, I opt for a wine-based spirit such as cognac. I often suggest this cocktail at the end of a dinner paired with the dessert on the set menu.
Ingredients: 1.5cl Benedictine, 1.5cl Dolin dry vermouth and 4.5cl cognac.
Method: prepare in a mixing glass.
This is a dessert full of autumnal and winter flavors composed of a pear poached in agave syrup bouillon and sweet spices (vanilla, Timut pepper, Tonka bean and passion berries). The poached half-pear is presented in a bowl with some fromage blanc with Galangal and a piece of Breton ginger shortbread and topped with a caramelized French meringue.
Idea behind the pairing
The subtlety of the Dolin dry vermouth in this cocktail highlights the notes of pears and spices in this delectable dessert.