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Vermouth


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#121 bostonapothecary

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 02:40 PM

The difficulty in doing that is that the very act of pouring the vermouth out of one bottle into another will oxidize it.

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Yes, I feared that would be the case - but will the resulting damage be less than repeatedly opening a large bottle, rather than this procedure of opening once and then resealing? Is using a vacuvin or similar a possibility, or is that pointless, too?

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i'd say these vermouths are less parishable than you think... pouring a vermouth into a new vessel will technically oxidize it but you can minimize the effect down to a negligable level.

table wines are racked and exposed to air all the time for brief periods and they come out just fine. i separate my liters of sweet vermouth into tiny canning jars and find no ill effects. i fill them to the vary brim and use a spoon to put them into my oxo jigger when i'm ready to use them. some wine makers warm their wines to slightly above room temp because that way the act of pouring will dissolve less oxygen into the wine. a normal bottle of wine takes many hours to absorb its terminal level of oxygen that sets the ball rolling on spoilage so the mere seconds of racking at a high room temp into a vessel filled to max capacity should be no problem. i endorse the tiny canning jars. they are hard to pour from but if you are patient and at home a spoon works fine.

any high volume bars using 375's that want to be really anal should consider that they don't know the born on date of their vermouths and they could be trapped in the distribution system for a while (i see two or three different label styles at many liquor stores from any one brand). if a bar really uses alot they may get better performance out of liters or bigger because they age slower than the 375's.

sweet vermouths have the lowest amount of alcohol, maybe comparable to dessert wines, and its known that dessert wines age very fast in their early life and then even out to a slow crawl... i can't imagine sweet vermouth would be too different. using all the wine rules of thumb, a larger size would decrease that effect...

if i did serious volume and was really anal, i may even buy handles of vermouth to decrease the effects of the distribution system then decant it all into small bottles for all my stations and inert gas the left overs...
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#122 brinza

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 08:41 AM

I'm still searching for a sweet vermouth that I can say I really like, not that I've tried all that many--I don't have a lot of choices. I'm okay with M&R, but I'd like to find something better. It's amusing to read how the Vya vermouths have polarized those who've tried them. While I like the dry and would buy it again, I grew rather disappointed with the Vya sweet, being able to find only a few cocktails I could make it work in. I'm glad to have tried it, but I won't be buying again. I just keep getting this tomato/celery taste that ruins the drink for me. I'll bet it would be great added to a Bloody Mary!

I think I can get Noilly Prat sweet or Dolin sweet. Not much has been said about Noilly Prat sweet, so I'm wondering what people think of it. The accolades for Carpano Antica make it sound tempting, but wow, $30 for vermouth. Is it really worth that much? I keep Dubonnet around to use when it's call for, but I guess that's not really vermouth even though it works well as an alternative. This is an important quest for me as the Manhattan is one my favorite and most-often made cocktails.

(If you're wondering how I can enjoy Manhattans so much when I haven't had a vermouth that I can be excited about, it's because I probably obliterate the vermouth with overdoses of bitters).
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#123 slkinsey

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 08:49 AM

I think I can get Noilly Prat sweet or Dolin sweet.  Not much has been said about Noilly Prat sweet, so I'm wondering what people think of it.  The accolades for Carpano Antica make it sound tempting, but wow, $30 for vermouth.  Is it really worth that much?

Noilly Prat sweet is awful. Dolin sweet is very good and worth having, but it doesn't really work exactly like most sweet red vermouths.

For most everyone I know, if they were forced to only use one sweet vermouth for the rest of their lives, they would pick Carpano Antica Formula without hesitation. I know I would.


If you can find it, Casa Martelletti also makes a very good sweet red vermouth.
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#124 Chris Amirault

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:07 AM

Ditto what Sam said about Carpano Antica. And, though some claim that Carpano is wrong to call it thus, many around here love Punt e Mes used as a sweet vermouth -- and it's about 40% cheaper than the Antica.
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#125 plattetude

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:25 AM

....many around here love Punt e Mes used as a sweet vermouth -- and it's about 40% cheaper than the Antica.

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Particularly since you're already used to upping the bitter quotient in your standard manhattan.

Christopher

#126 MattJohnson

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:30 AM

I've just given Cinzano a try and find it pretty good. I too have a hard time dropping 30 bucks for vermouth - which is pretty much a non issue as I can't find Carpano Antica.

#127 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:48 AM

I've never been able to locate Antica nor have any travelling friends (always seems to be sold out where they are) but I understand it comes in a 1 liter bottle, vs the standard 750ml. If true, that makes it equivalent to 22.50/btl when comparing it to other vermouths. If I recall, Vya is about that much, and Punt y Mes isn't far off.

Could it be that the enthusiasm with the bitters is obscuring the particular chemistry M&R has with rye? I doubt that stuff would change anyone's life drank straight (though it's certainly pleasant, imo) but it does do cocktails well, I think.
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#128 Chris Amirault

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:50 AM

I want 250 ml bottles of both PeM and CAF, personally. Working through 1l of CAF is a pleasant if ultimately disappointing race against time....
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#129 slkinsey

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:55 AM

I've found that Carpano Antica Formula holds up very well over time, so long as it is kept under refrigeration.
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#130 Chris Amirault

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:58 AM

Do you use the VacuVin wine pump thingy?
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#131 slkinsey

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 10:09 AM

Usually, yea. But I find that refrigeration makes more difference than anything.
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#132 brinza

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:23 AM

... I understand it comes in a 1 liter bottle, vs the standard 750ml. If true, that makes it equivalent to 22.50/btl when comparing it to other vermouths. If I recall, Vya is about that much, and Punt y Mes isn't far off.

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You're right--I keep forgetting that. I paid $18 for Vya, so this is isn't all that much more. I might just bite the bullet and try the CAF.

Sam, could you elaborate on what you mean about the Dolin not working "exactly like most sweet red vermouths"?

BTW, what exactly are blanc vermouths? Are they simply semi-sweet white vermouths? How are they used? I noticed that M&R has a blanc which has shown up in my area.
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#133 bostonapothecary

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:35 AM

... I understand it comes in a 1 liter bottle, vs the standard 750ml. If true, that makes it equivalent to 22.50/btl when comparing it to other vermouths. If I recall, Vya is about that much, and Punt y Mes isn't far off.

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You're right--I keep forgetting that. I paid $18 for Vya, so this is isn't all that much more. I might just bite the bullet and try the CAF.

Sam, could you elaborate on what you mean about the Dolin not working "exactly like most sweet red vermouths"?

BTW, what exactly are blanc vermouths? Are they simply semi-sweet white vermouths? How are they used? I noticed that M&R has a blanc which has shown up in my area.

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blancs or biancos are vermouths decolored with carbon. i haven't had every bianco but they seem to be as sweet as the traditional sweet vermouth and have the same botanical intensity maybe even more so making them come across as slightly bitter. they are fun but they really don't seem to be worth too much more than their color... we use them mainly in the pastry department.
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#134 slkinsey

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 02:41 PM

blancs or biancos are vermouths decolored with carbon.

Where did you get this information?
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#135 weinoo

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 02:56 PM

If you can find it, Casa Martelletti also makes a very good sweet red vermouth.

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Funny, I just saw this yesterday at the new DiPalo's wine shop on Grand. $20 for a 750. Comes in a can just like Antica. They could probably save a buck each by getting rid of the can.

I'm with Sam - I have no trouble going through my bottles of Antica before they get funky (er)...kept on the shelf in my fridge. But maybe that's cause our favorite drinks are Americanos, Manhattans, Martinezes, Negronis, etc.
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#136 eas

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 03:45 PM

The clear Blanc (aka bianco) style of vermouth originated in Chambéry in the 19th century and was a hallmark product of most all of the producers (Comoz, Dolin, Boissiere, Richard, etc.,.). The clarity was then a marvel, though today no mystery to most any white wine producer. Many of these same producers made in tandem a dry variation, no less pale, that became especially popular in the 1920's and 1930's was soon replicated elsewhere. Martini adopted both clear styles, and today their Blanc (they call Bianco) is the world best selling of any vermouth.

Most Blanc/Bianco and Rouge/Rosso of the same family have the same % sugar, though typically have different formulations within the family (expect lighter and more fruit notes on the Blanc).

On matters of storage, the Carpano Antica should be among the longest lasting - it has a higher level of sugar than most any other sweet red vermouth on the market, and to great effect.

As I'd noted in another thread, many of the great French producers also made vermouth of the Marseilles style, which Noilly Prat has just reintroduced into the US market to replace their pale dry. This style is noted for its gold/straw color, oak from the aging and a Madeira finish. In France it's quite popular for cooking and IMO expands our options for vermouth in cocktails.

#137 bostonapothecary

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 12:16 AM

blancs or biancos are vermouths decolored with carbon.

Where did you get this information?

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one of maynard amerine's abstracts from "vermouth an annotated bibliography"

there was lots of turn of the century vermouth analysis and one that even examined what was at the paris exposition of 1900, supposedly representing the best available. the analysis explains sugar, acid, alcohol, and extract.

the bianco coloring was explained in the abstract of a source from 1917 which analyzed 142 samples.
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#138 eje

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 08:39 PM

From the wine forum...

So you were wondering just how far back vermouth went?

Herbal wine, just the thing for ailing pharoahs

A chemical analysis of pottery dating to 3150 B.C. shows that herbs and resins were added to grape wine, researchers led by Patrick E. McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology report in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science....Chemicals recovered from the pottery indicate that in addition to wine there were savory, blue tansy and artemisia — a member of the wormwood family — present. Other chemicals indicate the possible presence of balm, senna, coriander, germander, mint, sage and thyme.


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#139 Wild Bill Turkey

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 10:06 PM

That's what I call Antica Formula .

#140 tsg20

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 04:44 PM

Does anyone know of anywhere in NYC (preferably Manhattan) selling Carpano Antica? I'm going to be there next weekend and would love to pick some up (as far as I know it's not distributed in MA).

#141 daisy17

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 07:26 PM

Does anyone know of anywhere in NYC (preferably Manhattan) selling Carpano Antica? I'm going to be there next weekend and would love to pick some up (as far as I know it's not distributed in MA).

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Astor and Union Square Wines carry it.

#142 Alchemist

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 01:07 PM

As rhtorical questions... I want to fortify and aromitize a vermouth making it bigger and stronger. Just say I took Brand X sweet Vermouth and added some botanicles, fruit, brandy and sugar, what would happen? Can I put Brand X in a 20 liter Cambro with the stuff and keep it refrigerated for 2 weeks then strain and put in gallon glass growlers in the walk-in? Will it last? Will it have oxodized too much in the Cambro?

Should I just start with wine? Will I need to add so much more of all additives that it won't make it cost-effective?

My mind is realing on how to make a consistant, excellent product, in large quanities.

Any ideas/observations/challenges are welcome.

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#143 tsg20

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 05:21 AM

Does anyone know of anywhere in NYC (preferably Manhattan) selling Carpano Antica? I'm going to be there next weekend and would love to pick some up (as far as I know it's not distributed in MA).

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Astor and Union Square Wines carry it.

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Sorry for the late response on this one - didn't make it to NYC that time, but have done now and this advice was invaluable. Thanks!

#144 tim g

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 07:29 AM

As rhtorical questions... I want to fortify and aromitize a vermouth making it bigger and stronger.  Just say I took Brand X sweet Vermouth and added some botanicles, fruit, brandy and sugar, what would happen? Can I put Brand X in a 20 liter Cambro with the stuff and keep it refrigerated for 2 weeks then strain and put in gallon glass growlers in the walk-in?  Will it last?  Will it have oxodized too much in the Cambro?

Should I just start with wine?  Will I need to add so much more of all additives that it won't make it cost-effective?

My mind is realing on how to make a consistant, excellent product, in large quanities.

Any ideas/observations/challenges are welcome.

Toby

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i havent tried it, but i remember reading this a while ago - http://www.artofdrin...ke-vermouth.php - and being tempted to

#145 bostonapothecary

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 12:51 PM

i just opened a bottle of carpano antica and i'm pretty sure its "corked" like a cork tainted wine...
2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA)

no vermouth aroma, only musty wet card board

anyone else experience this? it was $30. should i be able to return it like a wine?
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#146 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 01:44 PM

i just opened a bottle of carpano antica and i'm pretty sure its "corked" like a cork tainted wine...
2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA)

no vermouth aroma, only musty wet card board

anyone else experience this? it was $30. should i be able to return it like a wine?


I certainly would! Carpano Antica should not have that character or anything resembling it.
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#147 vice

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 08:31 AM

On the subject of preservation, has anyone tried these Foodsaver bottle tops? I imagine the vacuum produced by a machine removes more air than the Vacuvin hand pump. All in all, refrigeration would probably make more of a difference, but for those of us with 19 cuft refrigerators, food storage is more of a priority than bottle storage. Anathema, I know...
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#148 Kent Wang

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 10:42 AM

My guess is that the the FoodSaver would only pump out a neglibly greater amount of air than a hand pump. I have a FoodSaver and would also consider inconvenient to have to take it out each time to use it. I have a hand pump in a drawer, while the FoodSaver is in the pantry.

Here's my system: I buy Dolin, which is only available in 750 mL (around here anyway). I have a bunch of 375 mL bottles from NP and M&R. I pour the Dolin into the half-bottles and put vacuum tops on them.

#149 eas

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 01:15 PM

My guess is that the the FoodSaver would only pump out a neglibly greater amount of air than a hand pump. I have a FoodSaver and would also consider inconvenient to have to take it out each time to use it. I have a hand pump in a drawer, while the FoodSaver is in the pantry.

Here's my system: I buy Dolin, which is only available in 750 mL (around here anyway). I have a bunch of 375 mL bottles from NP and M&R. I pour the Dolin into the half-bottles and put vacuum tops on them.


I take the wino route of using Argon gas - in fact I bought my last bottle at Austin Wine Merchant ("Private Preserve").

I think the 375s of the Dolin line are in TX now...

#150 Chris Amirault

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 01:29 PM

Hennes and I were talking about using a FoodSaver bag to preserve vermouth, and couldn't see why that wouldn't work quite well. Same reason, too: we both want to buy a bottle of Carpano Antica Formula but don't want to have to swig a liter fast before it goes south.
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