The best red and white vermouth selected by our sommelier
Vermouth is back in fashion thanks to its unique flavour and all the different ways it can be enjoyed. It is a wine-based drink that is usually used as an aperitif but it is also an ingredient in various cocktails. Vermouth comes from macerating white or red wine with wormwood (artemisia) and other aromatic herbs, roots and spices. It is usually macerated with wormwood, cloves, raspberries, lemon lily, pansies, Cretan dittany and quinine. However, it can be macerated with forty different compounds.
Vermouth is made using white or red wine macerated with herbs, roots and spices for about two weeks in so-called drums, rotating tanks that help to extract more compounds and make the product uniform. Finally, after maceration, sugars are added to compensate for the strong bitterness.
History of vermouth
Vermouth is said to have been invented in Ancient Greece by the doctor Hippocrates in the 5th century BC. It was not popularised until the end of the 18th century, when mass production began in Piedmont. That is when its popularity grew around the world. In Spain, the name is also associated with the pre-dinner aperitif made with or without vermouth.
Vermouth is a drink with highly complex aromas and flavours. Macerating wine with so many elements means each producer can add their own touch, so there are no two vermouths the same.
Some of the most prominent brands are Lustau de Jerez, Camparo de Italia or Perucchi, Martí Serdà and Yzaguirre de Catalunya.
Vermouth is usually served with ice and a citrus fruit, like lemon, orange or tangerine, with adds an extra touch of freshness.
It pairs perfectly with savoury snacks like olives, chips or anchovies, but it is also a great ingredient in many cocktails, so it can be enjoyed either before eating or as part of evening drinks.
Cocktails with Vermouth
Let's take a look at some cocktails made with vermouth.
-Dry Martini: cocktail with ice, gin and vermouth. Shaken, not stirred. Serve in a cocktail glass and decorate with a pitted olive and a little lemon rind.
-Old Tarraco: this cocktail involves mixing vermouth with cava. Serve in a flute glass, add two fingers of vermouth and top up with very cold cava brut nature. Finally, decorate with a touch of orange peel.
-Manhattan: place one third red vermouth with two-thirds whisky, a splash of angostura bitters and crushed ice in a shaker. Mix well and serve in a cocktail glass. Finally, decorate with a red cherry and lemon rind.
-Bloodhound: made with one third red vermouth, one third white vermouth and one third vodka. Mix in a cocktail shaker and serve in a cocktail glass decorated with a lemon rind and two ripe raspberries.
And there are plenty more cocktails like these waiting to be discovered! Would you like to try them?