Vermouth- A Primer

What most people know about vermouth is that it goes into a Martini and that you might have a bottle somewhere stashed away for rare occasions. The world of Vermouth is vast so we will try not to overwhelm. We want to share some simple tips on how to use, store and make the most of this wonderful category of wine.

So what is it? Vermouth is a fortified and aromatized wine. In other words, wine spiked with brandy, infused with herbs and spices, and sweetened. There are two main varieties: red (sweet) vermouth, which originated in Italy in the 1780s, and white (dry) vermouth, which first made appearances in France.

Vermouth was originally marketed for medicinal purposes, but nowadays, the category has been diminished into simply an ingredient in a Martini, Negroni or Manhattan

The most commonly found Vermouths are cheap, yet as with any bottom-shelf booze, you get what you pay for. These include Martini & Rossi, Cinzano but the good news is that you don’t have to spend a ton for a great Vermouth. Artisanal options are wonderful for sipping on their own, too. Dolin Vermouths are our tried and true everyday favorites for cocktail making. We have three varieties: rouge, dry, and “blanc” (a Dolin original). You can drink Vermouth straight, over ice, as a cocktail alternative, with a twist of lemon or orange peel. We recommend Oso de Oro Red or Dry Vermouths; artisanal vermouths with a Cali-vibe that screams spring and summer. Treat yourself to a trip to the Italian Alps with Monterosa Rosso and Bianco Vermouths. These bottles will transport you as you savor and taste the herbs, spices and florals of this unique part of Europe.

While regular spirits can sit at room temperature for literally years, Vermouth, on the other hand, needs to be consumed fairly quickly. The best way to store Vermouth is in the fridge. This is half wine after all, so keeping Vermouth fresh is key to enjoying your bottle over a month or two versus a couple of weeks.

Another great way to finish up a bottle of Vermouth? Cook with it! Deglazing a Dutch oven with Sweet vermouth after searing beef or mushrooms for a stew spells perfection or try splashing a little dry vermouth into a pot full of clams or steamers! They even play well in desserts just go easy, they are stronger in alcohol and flavor, a little goes a long way.

Check out these cocktail recipe ideas to share with friends this spring. We think they are a great way to freshen up your spring bar and bring some classy vibes straight to your cocktails!

First Test Sling

(recipe from Haus

Shake with ice:
1.5 oz blanco tequila
1.5 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth de Chambéry
0.5 oz lemon juice
1 bar spoon simple syrup, to taste
Strain into a glass filled with ice.
Top with 3 oz club soda.
Garnish with a lemon peel and a strawberry.


The Strawmellier
By Julian De Ferral of Bureau and Lutyens in London

1.25 fl. oz. Akvinta Vodka
.5 fl. oz. Sweet Red Vermouth (Oso de Oro)
.5 fl. oz. Honey Syrup (Equal parts honey and hot water to make it pourable)
.3 fl. oz. Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Orange Bitters
1.5 Medium-Sized Strawberries

Muddle the strawberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a strawberry.


Tautavel Sunrise


Shake with ice:

3 oz Byrrh Grand Quinquina
0.75 oz mezcal
0.75 oz grapefruit juice
Strain into a goblet or collins glass filled with ice.
Top with 3 oz club soda.
Garnish with a grapefruit peel.