Vermouth Cocktail

Vermouth Cocktail
1 Glass Italian or French Vermouth. (2 oz Carpano Antica)
4 Dashes Orange or 1 Dash Angostura Bitters. (4 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters)
Stir well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, that certainly is very literally a Vermouth Cocktail!

Not sure what else to say about it, but that is what it is.

It is tasty, if you like whatever Vermouth you are using. And it would definitely suck mightily with a not very tasty Vermouth. Fortunately, I am very fond of Carpano Antica Italian Vermouth, so had no trouble tossing this back.

I would say, it really isn’t all that necessary to give this a long stir, especially if your Vermouth is already chilled.

Which reminds me, sometimes I get the odd question about where to keep opened bottles of Vermouth.

The sad fact is, the best place to keep open Vermouth is the refrigerator. It will quickly oxidize and lose herbal complexity after it is opened if kept at room temperature.

Not sure if I would go so far as to agree with Kingsley Amis’ argument that a man needs his own refrigerator, but at least come to some sort of understanding with your significant other about those stray bottles of Syrup and Vermouth.

And if you don’t go through a lot of Vermouth, do try to buy 375ml bottles, if it is possible, especially of Dry Vermouth, and maybe have only one bottle of French and one bottle of Italian style vermouths open at one time.

One thing I have found is that Dry Vermouth makes excellent cooking wine and braising liquid, which helps turnover, at least in our house. I’m always deglazing pans and such.

I haven’t ever figured out any culinary use for Sweet Vermouth, so perhaps a brace or two of “Vermouth Cocktails” every so often wouldn’t be a bad thing.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

10 thoughts on “Vermouth Cocktail

  1. Agreed.
    I tend to run through dry vermouth and sherry by cooking. I am almost at that terrible point of wanting to purchase cheaper vermouths only for cooking.

  2. For storage is it “the colder the better”?

    As a compromise, I took over a shelf of the wine fridge for vermouths…it’s at about 50 F. Not as cool as the regular fridge, but I’m not sure I’m going to get much more real estate in there, what with all the syrups and liqueurs.

    • I don’t know the answer to that one. I assume, the lower the temperature, the less the chemical activity, but I don’t know if below a certain temperature you also damage certain flavors irreparably.

      For example, some fruits are never as good if they have been refrigerated, as if they have not. I know I never really feel like red wine is as good after it has been kept in the refrigerator as even if you had left it on the counter over night.

  3. We did some testing of the ultimate Dry Martini (fairly serious, about 100 combinations all in all, testing blind etc,) including tests of fresh vs old dry vermouth in dry martinis. The test was held by one of the more esteemed chef- and sommelier training facilities in Sweden, Restaurangakademien.

    Anyway, what surprised us was that the old (2+ years in open bottle in room temperature) Noilly Prat wasn’t that bad. It had lost some of the crispness, but had gained a slight note of raisins. Some of the bartenders tasting it actually preferred it to fresh Noilly.

    • You know, I think the Noilly Dry is pretty durable myself. The Sherry character does extend and some of the botanicals fade, but it does OK with a fair bit of time. Not sure about 2 years, but I’ll take your word for it, chuckle.

      Other Dry Vermouths, I do not think age as well, depending on the fragility of the wine base and nature of the botanicals.

      I also find the character of Carpano Antica to be fairly compromised in a rather unfortunately short period of time, especially since it is only available in liter bottles.

  4. This brings me back to the year my wife and I spent in Oslo. Liquor was outrageously expensive in Norway so we often made do with a vermouth cocktail. After we had been back in California for a while we decided to try a vermouth cocktail for old time’s sake. It was undrinkable. It’s amazing how the body will adapt when necessary!

  5. I do wish Antica was available in the 375ml size.

    Though, honestly, the Dolin 375ml is so close in price to the full size that I haven’t been able to bring myself to buy it. A quick look online… has the 375 at $10 vs $14 for 750. You get your money’s worth from the big bottle by using just 5 extra oz of vermouth beyond the first 375ml. In other words, you can throw away 30 percent of that 750ml bottle and you still got your money’s worth.

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