If you’re thinking that a cheeky vermouth was only something that your grandparents might have enjoyed on a Sunday evening, think again. The past few years have seen something of a resurgence for what is effectively fortified and aromatized wine. In short; wine spiked with brandy, infused with herbs and spices, and then sweetened. Believe it or not, vermouth was originally marketed for medicinal purposes, then went on to become a celebrated aperitif and the base of some of the finest cocktails known to man.
There are two main types; red (sweet) vermouth, which originally hails from Italy, and white (dry) vermouth, which first appeared in France.
But enough of the history lesson, in our anticipation for Spring right now, we’re crazy about English Vermouths. We’ve selected three absolute belters to share with you.
Orchard by Isles (23% ABV) – £24.95
As the name suggests, Orchard is made with a combination of wonky apples – those deemed not attractive enough for supermarkets, but still busting with flavour. Throw in some elderflower and hibiscus for good measure and you’ve got one hell of an aperitif. It’s crisp and very floral, and is absolutely scrumptious in a modern British Spritz (recipe below):
- 1 part ISLES
- 2 parts Soda Water
- Plenty of ice
- Fresh fruit garnish
Sipello (22% ABV) – £31.95
Well hello… where have you been all my life?!
Spiello is a gooseberry-led bittersweet aperitif made in the delightful county of Surrey. It blends local ingredients and sustainably sourced botanicals from around the world, including linden flower, elderflower, bergamot oil, red sandalwood, gentian and British rhubarb.
Take our advice and mix it with an elderflower tonic or treat yourself to a Brinx Cocktail (recipe below).
- 50ml dry gin
- 25ml Sipello
- 25ml dry vermouth
- 25ml freshly squeezed orange juice
- Strip of orange peel, to garnish .
The Aperitivo! Co Lyon Dry Vermouth (18% ABV) £21.75
Last, but by no means least is this little gem from the South West, Bristol to be exact. Made the old-fashioned way by macerating dried herbs, peels, barks and spices in organic pure grain alcohol, Reus Blanco Vermouth is a French-style dry vermouth.
In true Bristolian fashion, this can be described as totally ‘LUSH’, offering up aromas of hay, honeysuckle and lemon on the nose. The palate delivers notes of green apples, elderflower and citrus.
This has Dry Martini written all over it, which is super easy and super delicious! (recipe below).
- 2 1/2 ounces gin
- Garnish: lemon twist
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