What Do I Do With Vermouth?

What Do I Do With Vermouth?

What is vermouth? Ask around, and most people will say it’s an ingredient in martinis, while the rest will go on tangents about semesters abroad in Barcelona. However, very few people will be able to tell you what vermouth actually is. It’s wine. Wine that’s been given a slight bump in alcohol, and flavored with herbs, spices, and botanicals. It is indeed an ingredient in some very famous cocktails, but it’s also capable of being the star of the show. Of all the ways that vermouth can be used, here are our favorites.

The 5 Best Things To Do With Vermouth

You should drink it on its own.

Imagine you’re on a cobblestone street in Tarragona or Torino, spending the afternoon casually snacking on tapas or local cheeses while the shop owner watches soccer on a small TV. Visualization not happening for you? Same here. But not for lack of the right drink - vermouth on the rocks with a twist. White vermouth with a lemon twist is French, while red vermouth with an orange twist is more common in Spain and Italy. Either way, all of the spices and botanicals used in making vermouth give it enough flavor to be a great pre-dinner drink on its own.

It makes a great spritz.

For something a bit more “3pm on a Tuesday” appropriate, mix vermouth with an equal amount of soda. We like throwing in a splash of light, citrusy white wine like muscadet or txakolina as well.

Here are 3 white wines that are great on their own or added to a vermouth spritz: 

Bengoetxe, Getariako Txakolina 2019

Domaine de L`Epinay, 'Espirit' Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine 2019

Celler Credo, 'Miranius' Xarel-lo 2019

It should be in every low-alcohol cocktail.

Vermouth has enough body and flavor-intensity to act as the primary ingredient in various cocktails. And since it only has about one-third as much alcohol as vodka or gin, you don’t need to cut yourself off after one or two. Our go-to is a V&T, which is just as easy to make as a G&T, but even easier to drink.

And in a martini, of course.

As we’ve been trying to convey, vermouth is versatile. In the end, though, it’s greatest contribution to humanity comes in the form of the martini. Adjust the gin-to-vermouth ratio however you like (James Bond preferred it 6-to-1, Hemingway 15-to-1, Churchill even higher than that), shake or stir it with ice, strain it, and add olives. Simple, timeless, perfect.

Something to keep in mind...

Vermouth is wine. Just as you wouldn’t keep an opened bottle of sauvignon blanc in your spice cabinet, you shouldn’t keep an open bottle of vermouth there either. Store it in your fridge, and try to finish it within about a month after opening. Start experimenting with some of the drinks we’ve laid out above, and that really shouldn’t be a problem.

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