For a while now I've been hearing about an artisanal sweet vermouth from Italy that makes the best manhattans (and is also swell drunk on its own) but I haven't been able to find it. Last week a friend told me that LaNell's, a great, quirky liquor store in Red Hook, Brooklyn carries it so I drove out there to find LaNell herself and the vermouth, Antica Formula ($22). Besides the Antica, LaNell has an array of the interesting and the very hard to find in wines, bitters, bourbons, tequilas and so forth all in one charming little store. Be careful crossing the street in Red Hook. It's like the Wild West out there and drivers obey laws known only to them. On my way home I stopped at a store on Atlantic Avenue called Butter. They didn't sell any but the shop was genius anyway…especially the shoes.LaNell's,
416 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY. 718-360-0838.Butter
, 389 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. 718-260-9033.