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The Italian rooted Vermouth has slowly been entering the British beverage market over the past years and has become a very fashionable drink. We love to enjoy a glass of vermouth before lunch or as an afternoon drink. But what makes it so attractive all of a sudden? Maybe its Mediterranean character. Vermouth is a drink to enjoy with a group of friends or family to socialise and just pass some great time together. Aperitive by day, a cocktail by night: Vermouth also makes for a great key ingredient in fantastic and popular cocktails like the Dry Martini, Negroni or the Manhattan.
And what exactly marks a Vermouth? The base of vermouth is wine macerated with herbs and spices that give the drink its aromatic taste and aroma. However, variations in production offer us different types of vermouth. You can distinguish between its taste and colour.
- Taste: First, there is the Vermouth Dry with less than 120 grammes of sugar and at least 16º of alcoholic strength. Secondly, we have the Vermouth Sweet with 120 grammes of sugar and at least 15º.
- Colour: If you distinguish per colour, you can opt for either white or red. The Vermouth White has French origins and is mainly produced in Southern France while the Vermouth Red comes from Turin, Italy, showing a sweeter taste.
Although vermouth made its breakthrough by the end of the 18th-century, documents indicate that Hippocrates (460 a.c.) already used wine macerated in vermouth flowers and dictamnus leaves.
21 centuries later, we still enjoy this refreshing drink and are able to choose between a broad range of vermouth brands such as Noilly Prat, Dolin, or Dubonnet. Famous Italian names are, of course, Martini, Cinzano, and Gancia. And also Spain has become a centre of delicious vermouths offering successful brands as Perucchi and Yzaguirre.
But who said that to enjoy a nice glass of vermouth you have to go out? For our generation of manufacturers, it's every day more common to produce artisanal liqueurs and spirits of all kinds at home. You can perfectly include vermouth into this group of drinks and prepare a nice vermouth yourself at home. Here's an easy-to-do recipe:
- 1L of white wine (the drier the wine, the drier your vermouth)
- Different herbs of your choice
- 100 gr of brown sugar
- 5 ml of brandy
First, prepare a blend of spices including for instance vermouth, cinnamon, orange zest, gentian, cardamom, clove, sage, cilantro, star aniseed, ginger, chamomile, dill, thyme, and vanilla. Then wrap your herbal blend into a fabric and put this bag of herbs into a glass recipient. Add one litre of white wine and let it macerate for 5 days. After the maceration period, take out the bag of herbs and add 100 gr of brown sugar, as well as 5 ml of brandy. Stir everything and pour the liqueur into a bottle using a filter. Finally in the bottle, leave it to rest for another 10 days before drinking.
Have a nice day and enjoy your artisanal vermouth! It always tastes best in good company.
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