The Truth about Vermouth

Vermouth is perhaps the most misinterpreted beverage in the United States. In its present form, the fortified wine has been around since the mid 18th century, when it was created in Turin, Italy, as an aperitif with medicinal effects. In Europe, vermouth has long been popular as a refreshing drink on its own; only in recent years has it emerged as a versatile component in a variety of inventive cocktails. In the United States, however, vermouth is typically thought of strictly as an ingredient for martinis and Manhattans—but it is much more dynamic than that.

Most vermouths are made with red or white wine that has been infused or macerated with botanicals and then fortified with brandy (and sometimes sweetened with natural additives such as sugar or caramel). It is then aged in either stainless-steel tanks or oak barrels. While most vermouth comes from Italy and France, there are no geographical limitations on its creation; vermouth can be made anywhere. In fact, U.S.-made craft vermouths are a fast-growing spirits category. Examples include Vya from Madera, Calif., Uncouth Vermouth from Brooklyn, and Atsby from Mattituck, N.Y. Another notable U.S. brand is Gallo, in Modesto, Calif., which produces the ubiquitous sweet and extra-dry varieties, but Gallo is far from being a small-scale operation.

(continued)

The spirit distinguishes itself by employing Japanese ingredients and techniques…
Photo by Jeff Elkins
The cigar combines an Ecuadoran wrapper with Honduran and Dominican filler tobaccos…
Worldwide talents are leaving their marks at a Provençal winery.
A special barrel of Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon stunned the wine world when it sold for $260,000...
Only 250 cases of the Montecristo Grupo de Maestros Private Batch will be released…
FREE PREVIEW: The Masseto 2011 Toscana is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best of the Best selections…
FREE PREVIEW: The Mortlach 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky​ is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best...
The special release contains a blend of Cognacs aged for up to 35 years…
The 23-year-old scotch won a Best in Show award at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition…
Photo by Chelsea Curtis
New York’s Club Macanudo played host to an evening of Martell Cognac and Cohiba cigars…