Drinks with Vermouth and How Vermouth is Made in California
The best drinks with vermouth are actually classic cocktails that you probably are already familiar with. Do you love a Dirty Vodka Martini or a Negroni? Both of those drinks with vermouth grace almost every cocktail menu we’ve ever perused, but there are so many more you might be missing!
What is Vermouth?
Vermouth is a fortified and aromatized wine, AKA a wine that has been spiked with brandy, infused with herbs/spices, and sweetened.
Dry Vermouth (White): This fortified wine from France has floral, fruity, and herbed notes. Historically, wormwood was dry vermouth’s hallmark ingredient.
Sweet Vermouth (Red): This Italian fortified wine has a fuller body of flavor than dry. It is light and delicate with a balance of spices like vanilla and caramel, with a more fruity finish.
You’ve probably heard of this fortified wine when looking up classic cocktail recipes, but do you know where it comes from, how to use it, or how it’s made?
Check out this article from This Mess is Ours to learn all about vermouth and why you should be stocking it in your kitchen.
Where is Vermouth made in California?
Vermouth has such a rich global history that most people don’t know that we have our very own vermouth origin story right here in Madera, California!
Vya Vermouth starts with a blend of grapes, including Orange Muscat grown at Quady Winery in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Quality grapes give Vya vermouth good viscosity and background fruit and flavor. The Vya base-wine is fresh and clean and doesn’t have a lot of varietal character, which provides a palate for the herbs to make something entirely new.
Challenged by friends in 1997 to make excellent vermouth, Andy Quady of Quady Winery dug up his notes from a 1972 lecture at U.C. Davis on “Secrets of Spanish Vermouth Producers”.
He experimented and tested, paying particular attention to the quality of the wine and herbs he used. He carefully replicated the artisanal process of making vermouth, and eventually produced what we now know and love as Vya.
“Vermouth is so different. There’s only so much you can do with grapes in winemaking. But grapes with plants opens up a whole new world.”– Andy Quady of Quady Winery
Can you drink Vermouth like wine?
Yes, you can drink vermouth just like you would a glass of wine. There are all sorts of different ways to enjoy vermouth actually – straight sipping, cocktails, and even cooking. The uses are almost endless!
Salt & Wind says that you can order your vermouth on the rocks, but they prefer it con sífon or ‘with soda water’. That simple addition lightens up the drink and makes it even more of a session cocktail with even lower alcohol.
This cocktail recipe is so simple it barely deserves to be called a recipe. You simply combine vermouth and soda to the ratio you like and serve it. Of course, the garnishes are key! Don’t skimp on those.
Can you cook with vermouth?
YES! Cooking with vermouth is totally a thing that you should be doing. The question is are you cooking a savory dish or sweet? Dry vermouth is most often used in savory recipes and sweet vermouth is most often used in desserts.
Irvin of Eat the Love includes sweet vermouth in this recipe. Think of this as the love child of holiday fruit cake (without the dense heaviness) and Caribbean rum cake (swapping bourbon for rum), creating a new sophisticated holiday favorite for the adults.
How to Store Vermouth.
When a wine is exposed to air, it undergoes oxidation. Vermouths can change flavor profiles in as little as 15-20 minutes after opening, so it is important to keep an opened bottle tightly sealed in the fridge at all times. Never store an open bottle of vermouth at room temperature.
Recipes for the Best Drinks with Vermouth.
The Adonis packs a punch when it comes to flavor!
This low-proof cocktail is one of the most aromatic sipping experiences I have honestly ever had. The pungent botanical-laced aroma hits the palette even before the first sip does, and lingers well after the glass has left your lips.
The classic recipe from This Mess is Ours traces the martini’s origins to the late 1800s, where it was first served and recorded in bartending manuals.
While the exact origin is unknown, many believe the gin martini was originated in Martinez, California during the mid-1800s Gold Rush, according to historians and residents.
Craving more CA Grown goodness? Follow us on Pinterest for fresh and fabulous recipe inspiration!