Here is the thing. You need vermouth in your home bar. This fortified wine brings a complexity and nuance to both classic and modern cocktails. Let's take a closer look at how to use vermouth in cocktails.
Vermouth in Cocktails
Originally used for medicinal purposes, vermouth became popular as an aperitif in the early 1800s. In the late 1800s, it was widely used in classic cocktails, such as Martini and Manhattan. And although vermouth fell out of fashion in the mid to late 20th century, it has certainly made a comeback today both as an aperitif and in cocktails.
Vermouth always plays a supporting role in any cocktail. It’s there to add body and complexity to cocktails.
Kaitlin Wilkes Back, drinks brand consultant and award-winning bartender, says that vermouth is one of the most important modifiers in her home bar. These are usually bitters or fortified wines that help give length to a drink...try Campari, Sweet vermouth or Amontillado Sherry — three things I never go without at my home bar.
The flavors that this fortified wine brings to the cocktails depend on the type of vermouth you use. Sweet vermouth is sweet and spicy, with a hint of herbal bitterness on the finish. Bring nice herbal touch to Negroni and Manhattan.
Dry vermouth is clean and crisp, like dry white wine, with delightful herbaceous hints. It’s a perfect choice for Classic Martini and Dirty Martini.
Rosé vermouth brings fresh and fruity notes to the table, balanced with a delicate acidity. It makes a great couple with tonic, sparkling wine, and gin.
So if you really want to stock your home bar with the essentials, consider buying at least one type of vermouth. Here are some great bottles that are worth buying.
Londinio Dry Vermouth is a must-have in your home bar. It is perfect for all manner of cocktails. Mix it with vodka or gin for a tantalizing Martini or enjoy it on its own over ice.
Londinio Red Vermouth was created for your outstanding Negronis and Manhattans! This is a delightful combination of English wine and a bunch of botanicals including wormwood, gentian root, fresh orange peel, sage, liquorice root, rhubarb, cinnamon, and chamomile.
El Bandarra Vermouth Blanco ( White) is great-tasting vermouth with a lingering touch of sweet vanilla, refreshing mint and citrus notes, and a nice bittersweet touch. Enjoy it neat over ice, with a splash of tonic or mixed with other spirits.
3 Classic Vermouth Cocktails
Cocktail Arguably the best known of all sweet vermouth cocktails is the Manhattan is a sophisticated whiskey drink that features sweet vermouth, rye or bourbon and a few dashes of aromatic bitters. This great tasting cocktail is really easy to make at home.
- 30ml - sweet vermouth
- 60ml - rye whiskey or bourbon
- 2 dashes aromatic bitters
Mix vermouth, whiskey, 2 dashes of angostura bitter, and maraschino liqueur with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve with a maraschino cherry and a twist of lemon.
Martini is called classic for a reason. This two ingredient cocktail is crisp, herbal, and has a nice spicy touch. Here is the classic Martini recipe.
- 2 1/2 ounces - London Dry Gin
- 1/2 ounces - dry vermouth
- Green olive - to garnish
Pour gin and vermouth into a mixing glass or cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an olive and serve.
Negroni is another vermouth classic and, just like two previous drinks, is very easy to make. We mean it, just look at the recipe!
- 20ml - gin
- 20ml - sweet vermouth
- 20ml - red bitter
- 1 fresh orange peel
Pour gin, vermouth and bitters into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir gently until chilled. Strain into a rock glass and garnish with an orange peel. Enjoy!