Why Vermouth matters!

Why Vermouth matters!

Ever ordered a Manhattan, Vodka or Gin Martini that tasted like a sour apple? Reason for this is because the majority of restaurants, bars, bartenders, and the consuming public do not understand Vermouth. Vermouth is an aromatized fortified wine which consists of herbs. If not refrigerated after opening, it can oxidize in a week or so. In Europe, people drink Vermouth on the rocks, chilled or with soda during Aperitivo hour or before or after dinner.

Vermouth may be the answer to your Aperitivo program, cocktail, and overall better martinis. Vermouth derives from the German word “Wermut,” which means wormwood that has been used in the wine. Italians popularized Vermouth in the 1800s in Turin. By using this liqueur for Aperitivo and in Cocktails, before then they were used for medicinal purposes.

There has been a recent renaissance in the Vermouth category. Italian specialty Vermouth is becoming more popular as well as domestic craft Vermouth. I believe the renaissance was created by Americans traveling to Italy, France, and Spain where Vermouth is a preference for Aperitivo.

Amaro based Vermouths can open your eyes and pallet to the European imbibing lifestyle. Some big and small players from Italy have elevated their distribution reach for us to enjoy these gems.

Let us take Montanaro for example. The family has been making Grappa since 1885. They make a Rosso, Bianco and Dry Vermouth. Their white Vermouth is an absolute gem in a Gin Martini as a wash. It possesses 100% Moscato grapes with roughly 28 botanicals. Their Rosso is 85% Moscato and 15% Marsala grapes with roughly 45 herbs. This is perfect for an Americano or on the rocks with citrus.

Cinzano 1757, is my favorite in a Manhattan either stirred or barrel aged. It adds some beautiful depth to a Negroni as well. This small batched Vermouth is herbaceous and delicious. Also good on the rocks with a citrus peel or as an Americano.

Antica Carpano, with the sweet raisin quality, if you want to tame your Manhattan this is a perfect fit, however great on the rocks or splash of soda.

Pio Cesare, the Piedmont wine-producing powerhouse created a Vermouth 150 years ago. They just brought it back into production and recently released in the United States. Their Barolo Chinato is something special, but it will hold you back $70-$80 retail due to their 3,000 bottles of annual production. Their regular Vermouth pre-chilled with a lemon peel is a beautiful expression of Alba’s finest.

Cocchi is also wine producer in Piemont, but they specialize with some sensational vermouths. Cocchi di Torino has a lot of notes of vanilla and golden raisins. This is perfect in a Boulevardier. Their Doppo di Teatro is an after dinner Vermouth that is Port like with bitterness to exercise the taste buds.

Dolan Blanc Vermouth is from France. Perfect with a Martini and or on the rocks or spritz with some citrus.

Alessio di Torino. Alessio like Cinzano 1757 has a lot of depth in regards to their Rosso Vermouths. More body and less weight. Alessio Vermouth Chinato is the best vermouth in my opinion in a Boulevardier. With the Campari it makes it taste like chocolate.

Montanaro Vermouth

Cinzano 1757

Antica Carpano Vermouth

Pio Cesare Vermouth

Cocchi Vermouth

Dolin Vermouth

Alessio Vermouths


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