Versatile dry vermouth

Dry vermouth recipes

As part of its 9-bottle bar series, indexed blog The Kitchn provides background on the rise, decline, and resurrection of this aromatized and fortified wine, primarily associated with the dry martini. Once wildly popular as a cocktail ingredient and aperitif, vermouth went out of fashion for decades, probably because it oxidizes very quickly. Even when stored in the refrigerator, which slows down the oxidation process, vermouth will "noticeably degrade in flavor after a few weeks. Given its easily-spoiled nature, 20th-century drinkers discovered a distaste for (probably spoiled) dry vermouth, stopped requesting it, and then forgot what it tasted like, recalling only that they didn't like it." Renewed interest in classic cocktails has begun to restore vermouth's maligned reputation.

Vermouth traces its roots to late 1700s Italy, where wine was infused with various botanicals and then fortified with un-aged brandy. Initially only made in its sweet (red) form, in the mid-1800s Joseph Noilly created the uncolored style that came to be known as dry vermouth. Today's drinkers are rediscovering the "depth and complexity" dry vermouth provides to cocktails.

While vermouth's association with cocktails is well-known, its uses extend well beyond drinks. It's a great substitute for dry white wine in cooking, and vermouth features prominently in dishes like artichoke and mushroom lasagna, braised beef short ribs, and chicken medallions sautéed with tarragon and vermouth. Given its proclivity to developing off flavors, using vermouth in cooking helps ensure that you will always have a fresh supply for your martini, Scofflaw, or Algonquin.  

What are your favorite recipes (cocktails or otherwise) that use vermouth?

1 Comment

  • hillsboroks  on  8/11/2014 at 9:43 PM

    The only reason I always have dry vermouth on hand is to make the Light Lemon Parsley-Dill Marinade for fish from Savannah Seasons cookbook by Elizabeth Terry. This is our absolute favorite recipe for grilled fish since I bought this cookbook at the restaurant back in 1998.

Post a comment

You may only comment on the blog if you are signed in. Sign In

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!