The Kindred Spirits are back! I took July off from this series so I could have a little fun with cocktails for a change. Not to say that I don’t love this series (because I do!) but since I started it in January, I have begun to miss playing around without parameters. I scribble down ideas all the time, so it was super to work on other things, like popsicles and milkshakes, for a change!
So, with August here, I am starting the Kindred Spirits series back up with vermouth. This fortified wine is a versatile member of your home bar. Well, two members actually, as sweet vermouth and dry vermouth are very, very different. You’ll use dry in martinis and sweet in manhattans. James Bond and Don Draper would be proud of you for learning how to use vermouth, so keep reading for lots more on this spirit. // susannah
Click through to read the full vermouth guide!
Vermouth is an aromatic, fortified wine flavored with herbs and spices.A fortified wine is a wine plus a distilled spirit, usually brandy. Other than vermouth, there are many different kinds of fortified wine, including port, sherry, madeira and marsala.
Vermouth is known for its role in drinks like the Martini and the Manhattan. It comes in two forms, dry vermouth and sweet vermouth. The dry comes from the French, and the sweet from the Italian.
How it looks and tastes:
Sweet vermouth — AKA Italian vermouth, red vermouth or vermouth rosso — is sweet and red vermouth, regardless of its country of origin.
Dry vermouth — AKA French vermouth, white vermouth or vermouth secco — is paler in color and much drier, regardless of its country of origin.
How to drink it: You can mix vermouth into cocktails, but both sweet and dry can also be served as an aperitif over ice. Try half sweet, half dry with a garnish of a lemon or orange slice.
How to store it: Vermouth can go bad, so store open bottles in the fridge for up to a month.
Dry vermouth: Noilly Prat (French), Dubonnet (French), Lillet (French)
Sweet vermouth: Cinzano Bianco (Italian), Carpano Punt E Mes (Italian)
Both kinds: Martini and Rossi, Gancia, Cocchi, Vya, Gallo
Feast + West favorite: Martini and Rossi, Lillet
Dry vermouth: Martinis, Gibson, Algonquin and Bronx
Sweet vermouth: Manhattans, Rob Roy, Bronx and Americano
Feast + West drinks: Manhattan (Clearly I need to work on my own vermouth recipes!)
National Martini Day: June 19, 2016
- How to Drink Vermouth, Beyond the Martini // Bon Appétit
- The Best American Vermouths // Serious Eats
- Domestic Vermouth // Imbibe Magazine
- American Vermouth: Anything Goes // The New York Times
- All About Vermouth // The Kitchn
- The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks by Amy N. Stewart