Gourmet Fare

It’s Cocktail Time, Very Vermouth Cocktail Time

An opulent feast with the sweet vermouth of La Quintinye of Charente. Photo Courtesy FEVS. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

World Vermouth Day — held last March 21st — has come and gone but Vermouth is here to stay. French Vermouth is becoming increasingly popular on the export market while the domestic French market for Vermouths is clearly on trend, according to the French Federation of Aperitif Wines whose French acronym is FEVS.

The perfect dry Martini from Dolin with dry vermouth and craft Helsinki dry gin. Photo ©Ronan Le May. Courtesy FEVS. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Everyone seemingly knows vermouth. Found in emblematic cocktails like the Americano, the Negroni and the greatest cocktail of all time the dry martini, shaken not stirred for James Bond since 1962. Drinks International named the Negroni the leading cocktail in its Bestselling Classic Cocktail category with its crafty combination of gin and the bitter notes encountered in a good French (or Italian) vermouth. The French vermouths are a blend of wine, plants and spices. The plants and spices are macerated in carefully selected wines to which brandy is sometimes added.

Tradition: Noilly Prat dry vermouth on the rocks. Photo Courtesy FEVS. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Each vermouth has its own special characteristics depending on the aromatic plants involved and whether or not it is aged in oak casks. In order to enjoy the label vermouth it must be made with plants that are derived from the genus Artemisia, plants belonging to the daisy family. In France famous vermouths come from the Alpes with the vermouth of the town of Chambéry made by the house of Dolin, or the Mediterranean from the famous house of Noilly Prat or from the Charente region in western France with its Quintinye whose base is the fortified wine the Pineau des Charentes to which no less than 27 aromatic plants have been added.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette

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