Moveable Feast: Vermouth

A "rumtini" at 11 Wells Spirits in St. Paul.Jennifer Simonson | MPR News


Moveable Feast: Vermouth

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July 08, 2016

I was recently in Spain, where the outdoor cafes are full of people drinking what I mistook as sangria — it was actually red vermouth! You might think of vermouth as simply a martini ingredient that you hardly use, and collects dust in the liquor cabinet, but it's great on its own.

Vermouth is fortified wine infused with botanicals, most have a flavor profile that's various shades of bitter, sweet, and herbal. It's a great combination of being complex yet easy to drink.

In Spain, vermouth has traditionally been enjoyed by older folks, but it's becoming more widely popular, served over ice with an orange or olive as a garnish, or lightened with a little sparkling water.

Two Italian vermouths I always keep on stock are Cocchi and Cocchi di Torino, a white and red, but since I've been back, I've stocked up on several Spanish varieties and even found a couple from local distilleries — Tattersall and 11 Wells.