Vermouth is no longer seen as an unfashionable tipple and is undergoing a revival
It wasn’t so very long ago that vermouth seemed irredeemably unfashionable, the butt of tongue-in-cheek jokes on TV ads and doomed to gather sticky dust at the back of our grannies’ cupboards. Now it is having something of a major moment and has become a must-have in the hippest bars in the land.
The popularity of the “Negroni” (equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth) sparked an interest in vermouths in general, as well as a nostalgic curiosity in what was consumed in days past.
“There’s also a trend towards lower alcohol drinks that look and feel like a cocktail but don’t have the same dangerous punch. We realized to that vermouth’s characteristic bitterness went really well with the food. It makes sense to start making your own using herbs grown in the garden and wild ingredients foraged in the countryside around us.” The result can be “The Collector” a gorgeously rich vermouth with roasted nuts and citrus flavors.
Vermouth is a kind of fortified wine made from any number of herbs, spices and other botanicals. Apart from the compulsory inclusion of wormwood, from which it gets it name, pretty much anything goes when it comes to the mix so vermouth is found in a very wide range of styles.
Regal Rogue is new world twist on the drier French-style vermouths, the essential ingredient in a classic martini, while The Collector leans more towards the Italian tradition of sweeter drinks made dark with the addition of caramel.
Weighing in at around 19-23% ABV, vermouths are delicious drunk alone, or mixed into all sorts of cocktails. “This is the really exciting thing about vermouth,” we think. “There are so many things you can do with it, and so many now to choose from, there’s something there for everyone.”
Premium Vermouths are wonderful sipped alone, lightly chilled to keep it fresh, when it’s stunning with something sweet like a good treacle tart. It’s also a fantastic mixer in different styles of drinks. You mix it with sloe gin, cider brandy and a coffee liqueur to make brilliant cocktails but it also makes a killer take on the classic Gin and It – gin mixed with Italian vermouth or a spectacular Vodka to void the aroma. The vermouth renaissance is in full swing and now it’s bang up to date. Chin chin!