Are you aware that we are in the midst of a vermouth revival? That there are places on earth serving artisanal vermouth out of house casks and draft taps? That there’s some sort of Catalonian culture of casually drinking vermouth before lunch? Vermut refers to a drink, a time of day (noon), and a way of life ( …presumably chillaxing?). Barcelona: still leading the world in hot weather coping.
Vermouth, longtime scourge of gin, really makes a fantastic summer cocktail. Red vermouth is a little bitter, a little nutty, and a little herbal. It’s a wine fortified with spirits and aromatics. Casa Marisol (available in the US) describes their “making process”:
Macabeu wine fermented with selected yeast at low temperature in stainless steel containers. Darkened with unripe green walnuts and macerated with spices and local herbs from Matarrana area. Aged through the traditional system of solera (aging and blending) for a maximum period in wood of 6 months.
Inspired by the massive heat wave of the past week, I picked up a bottle of Vermut Negre and made some cocktails in the Barcelonian style (as described on the bottle). It’s the perfect compromise between a bottle of wine and actually having to make cocktails for your friends.
Let’s grab a drink: Fer un vermut –
- red vermouth
- orange wedge
- green olive
- Pour vermouth chilled or over ice into a highball or other short, stemless cup.
- Garnish with orange wedge and olive.
- Top off with seltzer to taste.
According to Vermouth 101, no Spanish vermouth was imported to the US before 2009, so this is definitely the right time to be alive. Grabs some tapas and blow off whatever you had planned this afternoon.