top of page

March 21st - Vermouth Day

Ah, vermouth! The ingredient that has been a staple in cocktail bars for centuries. Most commonly associated with the martini or the manhattan. Vermouth is both an ingredient and a drink that is versatile and delicious. In this post, we'll dive into the history of vermouth, what it is, the different types of vermouth, and some popular cocktails that use vermouth.


What is Vermouth?

Let's start with the basics - what is vermouth? Your read that correctly above; vermouth is both a drink and cocktail ingredient. Vermouth is a fortified wine that has been infused with various botanicals, herbs, and spices. It is typically served as an aperitif, meaning it is consumed before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Vermouth has a complex flavor profile that can range from sweet to bitter and can be consumed on its own or used as an ingredient in cocktails.


The History of Vermouth
Antonio Benedetto Carpano - 1786
Antonio Benedetto Carpano - 1786

The history of vermouth can be traced back to the late 18th century in Turin, Italy. The drink was originally created as a medicinal tonic by a man named Antonio Benedetto Carpano. He infused white wine with herbs and spices, including wormwood, which gave the drink its name - "vermouth" comes from the German word "wermut," which means "wormwood."


Vermouth quickly became popular throughout Europe, with many variations of the drink popping up in countries like France and Spain. In the 19th century, vermouth made its way across the pond to the United States, where it became a key ingredient in classic cocktails like the Manhattan and the Martini.

Types of Vermouth
Vermouth 101 at by Wine Folly
Vermouth 101 - Wine Folly

There are two main types of vermouth - sweet (red) vermouth and dry (white) vermouth. Sweet vermouth is made with a red wine base and is flavored with sweet herbs and spices like cinnamon and vanilla. Dry vermouth is made with a white wine base and is flavored with bitter herbs like gentian and quinine.


In addition to sweet and dry vermouth, there are also variations that fall somewhere in between the two. For example, bianco vermouth is a sweet, white vermouth that is made with white wine and flavored with vanilla and citrus.



Popular Cocktails with Vermouth


Choosing the right vermouth for your cocktail or aperitif is key! Tales of a Cocktail created this fantastic flow chart to help you figure out which one to choose. (Click on the picture expand)


Now, let's talk about some popular cocktails that use vermouth.

First up, we have the Martini. This classic cocktail is made with gin and dry vermouth and is typically garnished with a lemon twist or olive. The proportions of gin to vermouth can vary depending on personal preference, but a common ratio is 2:1.


Next, we have the Manhattan. This cocktail is made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, and is typically garnished with a cherry. Again, the proportions can vary depending on personal preference, but a common ratio is 2:1 whiskey to vermouth.


Lastly, we have the Negroni. This cocktail is made with gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, and is typically garnished with an orange twist. The proportions for a Negroni are equal parts gin, vermouth, and Campari.


Vermouth may be a simple drink, but it has a rich history and a complex flavor profile that can be used in a variety of cocktails. Whether you prefer sweet or dry, there is a vermouth out there for everyone. So, the next time you're at a cocktail bar, try something new and order a drink that features vermouth, your taste buds will thank you!


Cheers!

Komentarze


bottom of page