Existing somewhere in the space between wine and spirits, vermouth is often the perfect answer to that well-versed question, what do I feel like drinking? Light, aromatic and exceptionally tasty, with many different flavours and styles, it’s on the verge of a much-deserved renaissance. The only issue? Not many of us understand what vermouth actually is.
Explain it to me...
A wine-based aperitif, beefed up with some additional neutral spirit and aromatised with botanicals – such as wormwood, cinnamon, coriander, lavender and mace – vermouth is excellent neat, chilled and mixed in cocktails.
So it’s fortified...
Yes, similar to Sherry, Port and Madeira. But it’s all those flavoursome botanicals that set vermouth apart. Just like Sherry and Port though, vermouth comes in different styles and levels of sweetness, from the classically dry French vermouths to the sweeter, brightly red-coloured Italian-styles. Within these styles you’ll find a wealth of variety and diversity – making the category a wonder to explore and find your favourite style.
Luckily we know just the place for you to try out a few vermouths and cocktails...
The DrinkUp.London Vermouth Bar
This grape-inspired spring pop-up will be celebrating the Mediterranean aperitif all London Wine Week. From the bar you can try vermouth as an aperitif in cocktails or even neat over ice. This is wine as you've never known it.
Taste the cocktails...
Cocchi Lemongrass and Ginger Spritz - Made with Cocchi Americano, lemongrass & ginger, cucumber, topped with tonic water and garnished with coriander and lemongrass. A fragrant bouquet - light and ultimately refreshing.
Scarlet Martinez - Made with Belsazar Rose, Hendrick’s Gin and passion fruit, served stirred down. A wonderfully fruity twist on a Martinez.
The Lively Rogue Cooler - Made with Regal Rogue Lively White, Fever Tree elderflower tonic, lemon and rosemary. Long and effervescent - an aromatic delight.
Turin Cobbler - Made with Drapò Vermouth Gran Riserva, Bitter Tuvè, elderflower, fresh mandarin juice and topped with ginger beer. Flavoursome spice balanced with herbaceous sweetness.
Amber Margarita - Made with Sacred Amber Vermouth, Ocho Tequila, fresh lime and Fever-Tree Bitter Lemon. Savoury and citrus meet vermouth to create this moreish twist on a Margarita.
Giuseppe Formula - Made with Antica Formula, prosecco syrup, fresh lemon juice, orange bitters, topped with soda and garnished with an orange twist. Rich citrus is cut with sparkling water and vermouth to create a delicious depth of flavour.
Negroni Sbagliato - Made with Riserva Speciale Ambrato, Martini Bitter, topped with prosecco and garnished with grapefruit. A light, bubbly version of the famous vermouth cocktail – the Negroni.
Silver-tini - Made with Silver Birch Vermouth and Silver Birch Vodka, chilled over ice and garnished with lemon twist, borage or cherry blossom. Elegant and clean, this cocktail turns the perfect marriage between spirit and vermouth on its head in a twist on the famous classic Martini.
...And the vermouth neat
Cocchi Vermouth di Torino - strikes the perfect balance between bitter and sweet, with aromas of candied orange peel and vanilla, backed up by rich cherry fruit. Bold and balanced, flavours of raspberries and liquorice are just some of those to be found on the palate.
Belsazar Vermouth Rosé - fresh and light with tones from raspberry, pink grapefruit, orange blossoms, bitter orange and currant. Summer fruit acid and vermouth typical bitter-sweetness harmonized in perfection. A new to the world development in the field of vermouth.
Regal Rogue Lively White - is a semi-dry Aperitif, bursting with citrus and floral notes. Marrying a Hunter Valley Semillon with native Lemon myrtle, Desert limes, Finger limes and Native Thyme with elderflower, lemongrass, grapefruit and chamomile. This is the ideal Aperitif served neat over ice. Summer nights and lazy afternoons!
Turin Drapò Gran Riserva - a unique expression of red vermouth, this is made by selecting the finest botanicals and herbs and adding them to the classic Drapò. Drapò Gran Riserva rests in a single French Oak barrique for at least 8 months which will further enlight its body and structure, gaining strength of old wood and a supreme combination flavours.
Sacred English Amber Vermouth - amber coloured with quite a fruity aroma, like cooked peaches, apricots, bergamot and orange peel. This is overlaid with some floral hints, along with honey and spices (cinnamon and dried ginger). It’s medium-bodied with a medium level of sweetness balanced with firm acidity. Complex, vibrant, balanced, long, with good intensity of flavour and a certain richness. An expertly made artisan drink that’s good to drink neat over ice.
Antica Formula - a classic Italian vermouth, made from white wine, Piedmont's muscatel and the rich wines from southern Italy. Its taste and aroma come from carefully selected brewed mountain herbs, producing a vanilla bouquet, matched by notes of spices and dried fruit such as star anise, orange peel and dates.
Riserva Speciale Ambrato (Martini) - a deep amber colour vermouth di Torino that has a medium-bodied, light- bitter, floral and honeyed taste.
Blackdown Silver Birch Vermouth - Silver Birch Wine made from the sap of the trees surrounding the distillery is infused with a secret blend of herbs and spices including wormwood and fortified, producing England’s first white Vermouth, full of flavour, smooth and refined. Expect aromas of Wormwood, Chamomile, Silver Birch and Juniper.