This Sunday we will be tasting interesting and very different Vermouths – these are not your Mother’s Vermouths. Spain, France, Italy and the United States will be represented. Come learn that you might actually like Vermouth as an aperitif or as a mixer in your favorite cocktail.
Vermouth is a fortified wine, flavored with aromatic herbs and spices (“aromatized” in the trade) such as cardamom, cinnamon, marjoram and chamomile. Some vermouth is sweetened; unsweetened, or “dry” vermouth tends to be bitter. The person credited with inventing the vermouth recipe, Antonio Benedetto Carpano from Turin, Italy, chose to name his concoction “vermouth” in 1786 because he was inspired by a German wine flavored with wormwood, a herb most famously used in distilling absinthe. The modern German word Wermut (Wermuth in the spelling of Carpano’s time) means both wormwood and vermouth. The herbs in vermouth were originally used to mask raw flavors of cheaper wines, imparting a slightly medicinal “tonic” flavor.
Foro Extra Dry Vermouth ($16)
A intriguing dry Vermouth with more citrusy components than most. Creamy enough to drink as an aperitif as well as adding to cocktails. Organic to boot. 1 liter
Perucchi White Vermouth ($20)
A wildly flavorful white vermouth from Spain that is more suited for an aperitif than a Martini, but would be fun to play with in cocktails. Floral notes, so forget the Gin — Vodka is the ticket, with a twist of lemon or as a summer spritzer with mineral water and a twist. 1 liter
Dolan Vermouth Rouge de Chambery ($15)
Made of fine wines and botanicals found in the Alpine meadows above Chambery. The particular mixture of plants found near Chambéry give a fresh, restrained and elegant nose, with a subtle, complex bittersweet palate.
Quady Vya ($15)
The perfect sweet vermouth to pair with that truly fine bourbon for a stunning Manhattan. 375ml
Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth ($16)
Antica Formula is a red vermouth made from an original recipe by Antonio Benedetto Carpano, the man credited with creating modern vermouth in Turin in 1786. Inspired by a German aromatised wine and was a fan of German poetry. As a result, he named his new product after the German word for wormwood, wermut, which was frequently used to flavor wine at the time. Antica Formula is richer and more complex than most red vermouths and will make an excellent Bronx, Manhattan or Negroni. 375ml
Perucchi Gran Reserva Vermouth ($20)
A red Vermouth from Spain that comes from a solera. Would work for a Manhattan, but you might want to just drink it straight. Think Christmas spice — cardamon, all spice, mace. 1 liter