If you were to ask me if I'd ever had the bad luck to miss my daily cocktail, I'd have to say that I doubt it; where certain things are concerned, I plan ahead. - Luis Bruñuel
If you're the cocktail party kind of a person and prefer organizing sophisticated and classy social gatherings instead of those noisy beer fests, then you probably take the pain to select and stock different varieties of vermouth to suit the mood of different cocktails in your bar. Those of you who are still strangers to the stimulating experience of vermouth taking your gustatory and olfactory receptors on a sensuous escapade, must be wondering what is vermouth.
Well, a vermouth is a fortified wine that is flavored with a number of herbs and spices that may include cardamom, cinnamon, marjoram, and chamomile. There are 3 styles of vermouth available based upon the degree of sweetness or dryness, namely, extra dry, bianco/white, and sweet/red. The red varieties are mostly known as Italian vermouth whereas the white varieties are given a French connection.
A List of the Best Brands
A good cocktail is the result of mixing the rest of the ingredients with some of the best vermouth brands available. Anything short of that doesn't quite match up with the fine experience associated with a classy cocktail. For those who have just embarked upon this ecstatic journey of martinis and cocktails, it is even more difficult to decide which vermouth brand to go for. Imagine yourself standing in a classy wine store, surrounded by attractive bottles containing liquors of many colors. Now, selecting the best from that lot could be a taxing job. Therefore, to make things a tad easier for you, here's a list of some of the best brands of vermouth that you can try out till you have settled for a particular preference.
This is one of the most prominent and highly regarded Italian vermouth brands and the brand is named after the company and distillery that makes it - Martini & Rossi Distillati Nazionale di Spirito di Vin, situated in Turin, Italy. A wide variety of vermouths are available under the Martini vermouth brand including the following:
- Martini Rosato
- Martini Rosso
- Martini Extra Dry
- Martini Bianco
- Martini Gold by Dolce & Gabbana
This vermouth brand is perhaps the best representative of all French brands of vermouth and it comes from Marseillan commune from the Hérault département situated in southern France. The brand is at present a part of the Bacardi-Martini family, and it was acquired in 1971 by Martini & Rossi. Noilly Prat is a dry vermouth brand, and it is characterized by its straw shade and palate-teasing, fruity undertones. It's recipe was first developed by Joseph Noilly, a herbalist, in 1813. This dry vermouth brand has 18% alcohol by volume. Two more variants of Noilly Prat vermouth are available - Red Noilly Prat and Ambre Noilly Prat. The former contains 30 distinct flavoring agents which impart it the signature rich red hues that identify it. The latter is available only at the Noilly Prate shop situated in Marseillan.
Another good vermouth brand is Boissiere, and this is one of the good brands of dry vermouth. Therefore, going by the above discussion, the verdict goes in favor of Martini as it has a wider variety of vermouth styles under its name. However, Noilly Prat has some very good dry vermouth varieties to its credit, and most martini connoisseurs vouch by the class it imparts to the most basic martini recipe. If you're new to cocktails and martini, try both these brands and take your own call. After all, individual preferences depend upon individual tastes! Cheers!