• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

slkinsey

Vermouth

251 posts in this topic

Bamboo

Equal measures dry sherry and dry vermouth

Dash of orange bitters

made this for the first time yesterday for my wife, who quite enjoyed it, used Dolin Dry...

my reference called it an East India Cocktail (variation)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We often speculate about how much "Italian Vermouth" might have changed since it's commercial invention, but people seldom question the nature of French Vermouth.

I often wonder when I come across cocktail recipes that call for a dashes of French Vermouth. It just makes no sense to use modern Dry Vermouth. I might as well add a dash of water.

How have the formulations of French Vermouth producers drifted from what might have been produced at the beginning of the 20th Century?

Were the "French" vermouth formulations of that time closer to what is sold today as blanc/bianco vermouth?

Like most other aperitifs, has "French" vermouth drifted towards drier and lighter?


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other drinks which make me wonder about the historical character of Dry Vermouth, are those modeled on a sour, but with Dry Vermouth instead of Lemon Juice.

Some early recipes for the Clover Club, Snicker, etc.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We often speculate about how much "Italian Vermouth" might have changed since it's commercial invention, but people seldom question the nature of French Vermouth.

I often wonder when I come across cocktail recipes that call for a dashes of French Vermouth. It just makes no sense to use modern Dry Vermouth. I might as well add a dash of water.

How have the formulations of French Vermouth producers drifted from what might have been produced at the beginning of the 20th Century?

Were the "French" vermouth formulations of that time closer to what is sold today as blanc/bianco vermouth?

Like most other aperitifs, has "French" vermouth drifted towards drier and lighter?

there are tons of "finger prints" of what was drank at even the beginning of the 20th century. vermouth was economically very significant and techniques of studying it were very sophisticated. really common measurements were alcohol, extract (broken down into its components), total acid (broken down), PH, alkaloids (which i think implies bitterness), and tannin

from Amerines abstracts..

in 1889-1890 Boireau, R. distinguishes sweet and dry as well as "mellow aromatic and ordinary vermouths" in the annual report of the board of the state viticultural commissioners.

by 1905 there were papers being published on defining vermouth mainly to enforce a percentage of wine that had to be present.

from 1904 there is also a paper by mensio, c. and a. levi that analyzes twelve turin vermouths from the paris exposition of 1900. the paper notes that there were large differences between minimums and maximums of the metrics they measured.

another few papers from the beginning of the century, show that many of the vermouths had more volatile acid (acetic) than we would tolerate today.

so basically we can know a lot about what was being consumed. in the modern era, one important distinction is vermouths made from real wines that evolve when aged or opened and near neutral wines that are basically inert vessels for alcohol and natural acidity. in the inert wines all aromas comes solely from the botanicals.

i've collected lots of these research papers on vermouth, but what i'm really looking for are similar papers on aperitifs and liqueurs. the old sugar contents could really tell us a lot.


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One interesting departure I see between French Vermouth and Modern is the wine used.

For French Vermouth, it is noted that the wine used was often Picpoul de Pinet, aka Lip Stinger. From what I understand a rather tart wine.

I have a bottle sitting around that I have been meaning to experiment with.

Do you think modern vermouth producers are using still using similar wines?

I know as a grape, Picpoul de Pinet fell out of favor with wine producers after the Phyloxera epidemic, due to its susceptibility to fungal disease.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We often speculate about how much "Italian Vermouth" might have changed since it's commercial invention, but people seldom question the nature of French Vermouth.

I often wonder when I come across cocktail recipes that call for a dashes of French Vermouth. It just makes no sense to use modern Dry Vermouth. I might as well add a dash of water.

How have the formulations of French Vermouth producers drifted from what might have been produced at the beginning of the 20th Century?

Were the "French" vermouth formulations of that time closer to what is sold today as blanc/bianco vermouth?

Like most other aperitifs, has "French" vermouth drifted towards drier and lighter?

Those are intriguing questions. I find it ironic that, despite the long-held (and IMO spurious) notion of the "American palate" preferring sweeter things while the Europeans prefer bitter and dry things, the version of Noilly Prat dry vermouth that was exported strictly for the American market was much drier than what the European market had access to (which we all discovered when they reverted to the "original French dry" formula). The original is arguably sweeter and fuller bodied than the Americanized version we had.

As for bianco vermouths, M&R's is extremely sweet, so I would be surprised if French vermouth was ever that sweet. Dolin's Blanc isn't as sweet, of course, so maybe that's closer to being possible (and it is French).

Sidenote: I just recently had the pleasure of tasting Dolin's vermouths for the first time, thanks to a kind bartender who graciously offered me samples of all three varieties merely because I said, "Oh, you have Dolin vermouth." There were all wonderful, so now I'm dying to get my hands on some.


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Continuing my fun with knock-offs...

I just opened a bottle of Rosso Antico "the Classic Italian Drink". Put most in a beer bottle, capped it, and stuck it in the fridge.

"Hmm, what to do with this...?" I confess that I don't quite get Manhattans but it seemed appropriate. Well, I might be a convert.

"How does Rosso Antico stack up against Carpano Antico?", you ask? I don't have a clue since I've never tried Carpano Antico. The Rosso Antico seems to have a bit of a cherry taste to me so next time I'd probably use a touch less to go with my off-brand bourbon (don't have any rye, either) but the Fee's Aromatic Bitters went well.

P8180041.JPG


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i just got a copy of the 1962 "consumer's union report on wines & spirits". i also have the 1972 and they paint an interesting portrait of what was available for vermouth.

in 1962 massive bottle variation was found between brands and the judging was quite difficult. they actually gave up in frustration and just listed available brands by price. the testers suspected bottles were either mishandled in storage or created from different wine stocks. testers weren't even able to consistently score the brands they serve in their own homes.

in 1972 all available brands (domestic & foreign) were judged as delicious and more or less impossible to rank so they again were just listed by price. since everything was of good quality domestic brands were endorsed because they were cheaper.

this makes it seem like any drinking experience that included vermouth pre 1970's would probably have been highly dynamic.


Edited by bostonapothecary (log)

abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My guess is that Cinzano's "Rosso" product is similar to Martini & Rossi's "Rosato" product. They appear to be an attempt to split the difference between their "Extra Dry" and "Rosso" bottlings -- perhaps simply by blending the two.

Sam, are you sure that M&R's Rosato is merely a blend of the two? I haven't had it, but an ad for it that I just saw which makes it seems like a different product altogether. The copy from the ad reads: "A crafted blend of light Mediterranean aromatics including citrus fruits and crisp raspberry complemented by soft notes of cinnamon and nutmeg." That doesn't suggest a blend of dry and sweet vermouths to me.

Found some Rosato while on vacation for a wedding; I drink a lot of 50/50 sweet/dry vermouth, and this definitely tastes different. It could pass, however, for a Rosso/Extra Dry vatting + extra "botanicals," specifically red fruit. To my palate, though, the base tastes more like the Bianco than the other two. My best guess, then, is it's M&R's entry into the Chamberyzette style, though utilising (primarily, it seems) raspberries in lieu of strawberries.

I'll add that the above is based on absolutely zero research, and merely the glass of vermouth in front of me this morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My guess is that Cinzano's "Rosso" product is similar to Martini & Rossi's "Rosato" product. They appear to be an attempt to split the difference between their "Extra Dry" and "Rosso" bottlings -- perhaps simply by blending the two.

Sam, are you sure that M&R's Rosato is merely a blend of the two? I haven't had it, but an ad for it that I just saw which makes it seems like a different product altogether. The copy from the ad reads: "A crafted blend of light Mediterranean aromatics including citrus fruits and crisp raspberry complemented by soft notes of cinnamon and nutmeg." That doesn't suggest a blend of dry and sweet vermouths to me.

Found some Rosato while on vacation for a wedding; I drink a lot of 50/50 sweet/dry vermouth, and this definitely tastes different. It could pass, however, for a Rosso/Extra Dry vatting + extra "botanicals," specifically red fruit. To my palate, though, the base tastes more like the Bianco than the other two. My best guess, then, is it's M&R's entry into the Chamberyzette style, though utilising (primarily, it seems) raspberries in lieu of strawberries.

I'll add that the above is based on absolutely zero research, and merely the glass of vermouth in front of me this morning.

Thanks for the review! Sometimes tasting is the only research required.


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a fairly new Vermouth Resource courtesy of Martin Doudoroff - Vermouth 101

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to say that Pennsylvania has started to stock Carpano Antica Formula and Cinzano vermouth. And the Cinzano is a 1 liter bottle for only $8.99! Since I finally got to try Cinzano Rosso last summer, I've settled on it as my favorite "everyday" Italian vermouth. I'm now sitting here with about 2 1/2 liters of Cinzano and I can finally enjoy my open bottle of CAF without feeling like I have to ration it out carefully, since I know that I have another bottle waiting in the wings. Now if we can just get them stock Punt e Mes . . .


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jamie Bodreu on Vermouth and it's Golden ratio in cocktails

So wanted to share this video with Jamie Bodreau both on vermouth and how you can use it in cocktails in a very general way and

still make a good cocktail "95% of the time".

He'll mention Vacu Vin wich has been mentioned earlier in the thread that helps to keep wine(including vermouth) from oxidizing too fast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a fairly new Vermouth Resource courtesy of Martin Doudoroff - Vermouth 101

This is very informative and nicely laid out. I hope to see it eventually fleshed out with in-depth descriptions of the products in the buying guide, and some drink ideas for Bonal and Cocchi Americano.

Jamie Bodreu on Vermouth and it's Golden ratio in cocktails

So wanted to share this video with Jamie Bodreau both on vermouth and how you can use it in cocktails in a very general way and

still make a good cocktail "95% of the time".

He'll mention Vacu Vin wich has been mentioned earlier in the thread that helps to keep wine(including vermouth) from oxidizing too fast.

I thought I would put his 1.5/0.75/0.25 ratio to the test and choose a bizarre collection of ingredients. I mixed cachaca, dry vermouth, and Rose's Lime Juice. I thought I was mixing up an ipecac, but actually, it's pretty damned good!


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Checking in with the experts to be sure I wasn't getting ahead of my actual experience. During a discussion with some other people, a person mentioned that he has taken to drinking vodka martinis (I know, but hear me out). He put forth the request for vodka and vermouth suggestions as he was new to drinking this. A person in the group responded that, with the vermouth being such a small amount in the drink, it really didn't matter which one was used. I countered with my thought that, in a drink composed entirely of vodka and vermouth, the vermouth was really the only thing that mattered (assuming not using some complete rot-gut swill vodka). I confess to never having tried a vodka martini but it seems the vermouth has to matter. In drinks with many more flavor components going on, it seems to matter... so how could it not matter in a vodka base?


Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The quality of the vermouth always maters. But certainly the defects of a crappy or turned vermouth will be most apparent in a drink where the other component is flavorless ethanol.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Checking in with the experts to be sure I wasn't getting ahead of my actual experience. <snip> so how could it not matter in a vodka base?

It absolutely would matter about the vermouth in a vodka martini. (Hey, at least this person had the sense to actually request vermouth at all). I think you are right, that the vermouth would be the only thing that matters, or at least the thing that matters most. IMO, the only use for a vodka martini is to showcase a fine vermouth. Did you inquire as to what the person had in mind when they said, "such a small amount." If they were thinking atomizer or wave-the-bottle-over-the-glass amounts, then they need to be educated on what a martini really is before they will be convinced of the importance of the vermouth.


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently cracked open a bottle of bianco vermouth for the first time and like it very much. Nice clean bitter taste. I think even more than red.

I generally only have one bottle of vermouth open at once, which means I can explore some interesting variations, like:

Corpse Reviver 2.1

3/4 oz gin (I used Gordon's and found a heavy hand was needed)

3/4 oz Cointreau

3/4 oz Bianco vermouth (Cinzano)

3/4 oz lemon juice

rinse chilled glass with absinthe (Obsello) be sure to have some above the liquid line so the aroma hits you at the first sip.

shake, strain

Corpse Reviver 2.2

3/4 oz gin

3/4 oz Cointreau

3/4 oz Bianco vermouth

3/4 oz lime juice

As above.

Both good enough to go into the regular rotation. Lime may be a hair nicer, but limes are very seasonal here.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice idea, haresuf. I also like the idea of using lime in the Corpse Reviver in place of lemon. I have a bottle of Dolin Blanc at the moment so I should give this a try. I sometimes forget to experiment with blanc/bianco vermouths, but they are very nice. Delightful to drink straight, too. Try it in in a Martinez, in place of red vermouth.


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eeyore's Requiem, my furry friend, Eeyore's Requiem.

I have only tried M&R bianco. I haven't tried it side-by-side with Cocchi Americano or Lillet. I would not think it would improve a CR#2.


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eeyore's Requiem, my furry friend, Eeyore's Requiem.

I'll second that. One of my personal favorite drinks.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eeyore's Requiem, my furry friend, Eeyore's Requiem.

I have only tried M&R bianco. I haven't tried it side-by-side with Cocchi Americano or Lillet. I would not think it would improve a CR#2.

Sounds like you have some research to do Dan. :smile: I'd be interested in other opinions, but I don't think it does any harm. Then again my choice is based on availability, cost, and wanting to burn through the Bianco before it oxidises.

Eeyore for me tonight, I think. I am feeling a bit sorry for myself...


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made Eeyore last night again, since it was on my mind. I used up the last of the bianco (well, all but a 1/2 oz, so I finished off the bottle wino-style). I think it is a bit on the sweet side for me. Maybe next time a perfect Eeyore? (As if the cocktail ingredient list isn't long enough. Sheesh.)

I think that you can't get Cocchi Americano. I have really enjoyed the CR#2 with that. I didn't find the M&R Bianco interesting enough to want to have a bottle open all the time. Perhaps Cinzano or Dolin is more interesting? BTW, I wouldn't worry about oxidizing -- mine was fine evacuated and refrigerated for the better part of a year.

Have a good Sunday. I hare you are busy.


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made Eeyore last night again, since it was on my mind. I used up the last of the bianco (well, all but a 1/2 oz, so I finished off the bottle wino-style). I think it is a bit on the sweet side for me. Maybe next time a perfect Eeyore? (As if the cocktail ingredient list isn't long enough. Sheesh.)

I've made Eeyore with straight up dry vermouth before I got my hands on a bianco. My first couple of Eeyore's were actually inauthentic that way but I enjoyed them. I'd have to do a side by side to be sure because it's been a while but I'm not sure that I enjoyed it any less with the dry vermouth even if it was wrong.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made Eeyore last night again, since it was on my mind. I used up the last of the bianco (well, all but a 1/2 oz, so I finished off the bottle wino-style). I think it is a bit on the sweet side for me. Maybe next time a perfect Eeyore? (As if the cocktail ingredient list isn't long enough. Sheesh.)

I think that you can't get Cocchi Americano. I have really enjoyed the CR#2 with that. I didn't find the M&R Bianco interesting enough to want to have a bottle open all the time. Perhaps Cinzano or Dolin is more interesting? BTW, I wouldn't worry about oxidizing -- mine was fine evacuated and refrigerated for the better part of a year.

Have a good Sunday. I hare you are busy.

I tried it, too. Think I added all the ingredients (I have a habit of forgetting one or two and wondering what's wrong with a drink). It was ok but not Wow! to me. I'll revisit it, though and often change my mind on drinks.

Although bunnies come out for Easter here, some caution is needed because the Chinese Association wakes Sun Loong, the Imperial Dragon on Saturday for Sunday's parade. With all the other dragons, the lion dancers, and crowds, it isn't the safest place for small furry snacks. But haresfur is an ancient Chinese pottery glaze so I suppose I should make an appearance.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.