Vermouth Cocktails: Surprisingly Versatile Aperitif
You know that moment of hesitation when ordering a cocktail? That second when you think you should try something new?
May we suggest a Vermouth cocktail?
“It’s an interesting option,” says master bartender, Paul Campbell. “Vermouth can be the perfect cocktail for fall. Its spices balance well with seasonal fruits. It’s normally not a main ingredient especially for its strong taste, but it is appealing and suited to the season’s traditional menus.”
An aperitif is a cocktail enjoyed before a meal to stimulate the appetite – aperitivo in Italian – and vermouth fits the bill perfectly, with its surprisingly complex herbal notes and dry finish.
Vermouth is actually not a spirit. A fortified wine, it is flavored with a variety of herbs, spices, and botanicals. Vermouth has also had its alcohol content boosted with any of various neutral liquors like grape brandy.
The flavors of vermouth is categorized as red or white (or dry). Red vermouth is associated with Italy, with brands like Carpano Classico that offers dark rich notes of cocoa, toffee, herbs, and spice, or Carpano Antica that boasts notes of vanilla. Red vermouth can have a slightly bitter taste. For lovers of Italian aperitifs like Campari, red vermouth is an excellent choice.
White vermouth is typically French. Dolin Blanc is a classic herb and botanical option, from Chambery. Noilly Prat Extra Dry vermouth, a classic French selection, is a complex blend of 20 herbs and spices that finishes very dry after initial notes of floral and fruity.
Find vermouth in the wine department, and experiment with flavors. You will find that vermouth offers a wide range of profiles. Vermouth makes a nice addition to your wine collection, and jumps up to add interest to your fall cocktails.
Donna’s Simply Elegant Vermouth Cocktail
3 oz. Bianco Vermouth
Serve well chilled in a cold martini glass. Garnish with a long twist of lemon rind.
2 oz. Dry Vermouth
1 oz. Cherry Brandy
1 tablespoon Strawberry-Basil simple syrup
Stir gently in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a glass. Garnish with Bada Bing cherry.
2 oz. Dewars White Label Scotch
1 oz. Vya Sweet Vermouth
1 oz. Drambuie
Stir in a cocktail shaker & serve over a king cube in an rocks glass. Garnish with Fabbri Amarena Cherry.
A classic vermouth cocktail
2 oz. New Amsterdam Gin
1 oz. Vya Sweet Vermouth
1 oz. Vya Whisper Dry Vermouth
2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
Shake ingredients and serve up, in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Cherry Bomb Martini
A martini that emphasizes vermouth with a crisp, smooth vodka base
2 oz. Beluga vodka
1 oz. Dolin dry vermouth
dash of cherry bitters
Garnish with an Amarena cherry.