Dominik Babst talks: Marito aperol, vodka and premium Diwisa brands

Here we have Dominik Babst, he’s a brand manager of premium brands for Diwisa company. This year here at BCB they will introduce us to Marito. Tell me more about Marito.

Marito is a Swiss based Aperol liquer. We take a lot of different herbs and spices from Switzerland, do a combination of distillation and maceration and from that we get a green, shiny liquer.

It’s not sweet but more of a lemony/bittery taste and it makes it perfect for mixing with soda water. You add 4cl of Marito, lots of ice, add soda water on top and decorate it with a slice of lemon and you will get a perfect Aperol.

How does Aperol Liquer differ from a regular Aperol?

It generally depends on the time of day you drink it. Aperol liquer is something you can easily enjoy after work. It’s not a heavy alcoholic drink, quite opposite it’s rather light and with soda water instead of Prosecco it makes it even lighter so you can drink two/three and still be able to drive home hahaha.

Your business card is impressive, you’re a brand manager of premium brands. What are the premium brands of Diwisia company?

We’re a distribution so we have a lot of different brands and categories. The range stretches from Single Malt Whiskys like Glenfarclas, Rums from all over the world, Champagne and of course a lot of different Gins.

On top of being a distribution we’re also a distillery so we have our own Xellent vodka, gin and organic wheat vodka.

I tried your Xellent vodka, tell me a little bit more about it.

The Xellent vodka is something new we do. It’s base is made from Swiss rye that’s grown locally. The distillation happens in Switzerland, at Diwisa. What we do is, we take organic rye and glacier water and put it through the same process of distillation. As we’re not working with big barrels but small ones, the capacity is only 650L. Because of the small scope the vodka gets a little bit of a taste profile. It’s not like one of those distill vodkas, it has a certain aroma and it works quite well with cocktails. 

What are your predictions for gin and vodka in bars for the future?

I think that with the flow of gin they can only distinct themselves through adding more ingredients, more rose, more lime. But the trend of classic gin will still be there. With vodka, if you can start to distinguish different styles of vodka, industrial produced compared to crafted, there is a big potential for vodka.

This year here at BCB there is a focus on rum. Do you think in the future the same will happen to vodka, or do you think vodka is just a white spirit with no soul or heritage?

For everyone who knows the industry a little bit knows that every spirit has a history, a deep history and so does vodka. I mean rum is cool with all of the wood, ageing process and sugar it makes it interesting. But because all of that it’s easy to have different rums that you can compare. Doing it with vodka is much more complicated, it’s more deep flavors.

You need to figure out how to use it because today people use it only to give their drink an alcoholic punch. But with the right ingredients you can enhance the character of the vodka. It’s easy to use cheap vodka and mix it with pineapple juice because the juice kills the taste of vodka. Working with a quality product that’s crafted, that has soul creates a good new trend for vodka.

Do you have any advice when it comes to young bartenders and their use of vodka?

There are really cool and classic vodka drinks, they have a character. I’m not saying that it doesn’t work with cranberry juice just fine, but I’m saying that there is a choice. And when you do choose to work with more than one ingredient it’s important to choose them really carefully so the taste of vodka gets enhanced not masked.