Vermouth: Worth a second taste in cocktails

Actually, in the last couple of years have expanded my cocktail palate to include good vermouth, and explore the plethora of vermouth options besides just Martini and Rossi or Gallo. Simultaneously, I’ve gotten over my teenaged aversion to bourbon1, especially in variants of Manhattans.

Whisky versus Whiskey

The truth about vermouth is that it predates the manhattan, and every other cocktail in which it’s featured. Born in Turin, Italy, in the late 1700s as an aperitif, vermouth is a fortified wine whose flavor has been enhanced (or “aromatized”) with herbs and spices — notably wormwood, from which “vermouth” borrows its name. Over the centuries, it has evolved into a cocktail ingredient capable of making or breaking a drink, depending on what kind is used and how much, and some of the better blends are still enjoyed by traditionalists as an aperitif on the rocks with a twist of orange.

Summer is as good a time as any to examine the variety of vermouths, which go way beyond mixers for manhattans and martinis. Find one you like, splash it with soda and a few ice cubes, and your aperitif regime is a set for the season.

(click to continue reading Vermouth: Worth a second taste in cocktails and for sipping –

Five to One, with mint

Of the vermouths that Lauren Viera samples, I’ve only actually had the Gallo and Martini & Rossi; have to do a little more sampling, methinks.

  1. odds are I drank stolen Jack Daniels to excess a few times when 15 – turned me off to the simple charms of good bourbon []

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