Vermouth is a useful fortified wine and an essential part of any well stocked liquor cabinet; it’s an important ingredient in many classic cocktails from the martini to the Manhattan and the Negroni. Traditionally only available in dry and sweet varieties, modern makers have been experimenting, and there are now a range of flavours on the market, including rose, bianco and amber vermouths. Beers of Europe has a whole range of vermouths, ideal for enriching your spirit selection.
The name vermouth comes from the German word for wormwood, a tough shrub with bitter taste that used to be an ingredient in the production process until it was prohibited. Wines using wormwood as a key ingredient were popular in Germany from the 16th century, and by the mid-17th century, vermouth had spread to England.
Vermouth is a fortified wine, which means it has a base of normal wine but has distilled spirit and aromatized herbs and spices added. Each maker has their own ‘secret recipe’ when it comes to vermouth. The base is white wine, but may be aged or have syrup added to up the sweetness and is often aged to allow the dry ingredients infuse. The herbs and spices added can include cloves, cardamom, marjoram, coriander, ginger, or juniper – but all recipes vary!
Vermouth offers a variety of different flavours:
Sweet vermouths are just that; sweet!
Dry vermouths are normally lighter in body
Rosso vermouths are red, mildly bitter but also slightly sweet
Biancos are pale and sweet
As we know, Martinis and Manhattan cocktails couldn’t exist without a splash of vermouth – the term ‘dry Martini’ originally meant using a dryer vermouth as a mixer. It’s also a popular ingredient in a whole range of other cocktails – vermouth adds a pleasant, herbal flavour while lowering the alcohol content of strong spirit bases.
Vermouth is an essential addition to your liquor cabinet – browse the range available at Beers of Europe to find something to fit into any cocktail of spirits.