Vermouth: how to serve and store your new drink of choice
It may have been the Negroni that kick-started a vermouth renaissance, but the beauty of this fortified wine lies in its adaptability for cocktails. Its bitter edge not only adds balance to sweeter ingredients, it also stimulates the appetite - making vermouth the perfect base for any aperitif.
There are a huge variety of flavours and styles available for you to play with. We've brought together three of our favourite serves, to give you some ideas of how to make vermouth work for your customers.
The Hanky Panky
A drink to please fans of Martinis and Manhattans alike.
- 40ml Antica Formula
- 40ml Broker's London Dry Gin
- 2 dashes Fernet Branca
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
A fruity alternative to everyone's favourite Aperol Spritz.
- 60ml Cocchi Americano
- 75ml sparkling wine
- 25ml fresh white grapefruit juice
Shake Cocchi Americano and grapefruit juice with ice, and strain into a champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with fresh mint and lemon.
Lillet & Tonic
For when you've just had enough of gin.
- 50ml Lillet Blanc
- 100ml Fever Tree tonic
Mix over ice, and garnish with fresh strawberry, mint and cucumber.
How to keep your vermouth fresh and tasty
To make classics like Manhattans and Martinis, every venue should have at least one sweet and one dry vermouth on their back bar. So, what can you do to keep them fresh, and keep waste levels to a minimum?
1. Get chilling
Vermouths belong in the fridge. Yes, they are fortified, but they're also wine based, and like any wine will deteriorate when opened. So, make sure you keep them somewhere cold (ideally using a preservation system) and use them within 1-2 weeks.
2. Keep it varied
Listing a few alternative cocktails, such as the ones above, will do wonders for helping rotation levels. Likewise, offering customers a low-ABV alternative to the classic G&T - substituting gin for vermouth - can be an easy way to stay on trend, while reducing waste.
3. Introduce a vermouth happy hour
It's incredibly easy to capitalise on cocktail trends by implementing happy hours that promote vermouth-based cocktails, such as the ever-popular Negroni.
4. Not just for before dinner
Styles on the bitter end of the spectrum can also be fantastic as a digestif, served up on ice after a meal.
In a nutshell, don't invest silly money in twenty different fancy gins, only to mix them with a dry vermouth that's been sitting open on your shelf for six months. Selling more vermouth will do wonders to your drink quality, as well as your bottom line.