Originally slated for an April 2020 launch, Martini & Rossi Fiero was put on ice for a year due to Covid-19. But the new vermouth was at last launched in April 2021, giving drinkers the chance to put it on real ice.
Fiero doesn’t fit into any traditional vermouth camp—rather, it’s labeled as an “orange vermouth.” Martini & Rossi promotes it as a standalone drink mixed with equal parts soda water, or as a component in Spritz cocktails. A white wine blend comprises its base, and it is flavored with botanicals including Spanish orange peels and Italian wormwood. It has a pleasing, orange-amber color that ensures it won’t be mistaken for Aperol or Campari.
Its nose is sweet and juicy, bright and citrusy, and scented with just a touch of florality. It begins bittersweet on the palate with dried orange peel, which takes on a more candied flavor at the center. But the risk of things turning saccharine is nipped by a flood of tart, juicy grapefruit, which is washed out at the back with bitter wormwood.
Fiero aligns on the sweeter side of vermouths, but its bitter and tart elements provide complexity and make it an excellent complement to savory, fatty foods. It’s natural that Fiero will be compared to other Italian aperitivos of note, and on that scale I’d say it’s less bitter than Campari, but less sweet than Aperol: in other words, a very happy medium.
And when combined with equal parts soda water, Martini & Rossi Fiero makes for a delightful aperitivo. It remains tart and juicy, but the more bitter and sweet elements are tempered without being lost. In sum, it’s bitter enough to kickstart an appetite, yet refreshing enough to hit the spot on a sticky and humid mid-summer afternoon. So, it’s more or less everything you want in a proper aperitivo.
— 15% ABV