vermouth Feed

A Visual Guide to Herbs Used to Make Vermouth

This summer I visited Turin and Pessione Italy with Martini vermouth. The distillery hosts the Martini visitors' center and museum, and in this post you can read about how Martini vermouths are made. On one particularly lovely day, our group piled into cars and drove around the countryside to see the local herbs used to make the vermouth. We turned off into one field where we saw many local herbs growing: a few varieties of wormwood, chamomille, cilantro, and the very aromatic local peppermint. Then we stopped into a farm cooperative where Martini sources many of the botanicals for the... Read more →

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How Martini Vermouth is Made: A Trip to Pessione, Italy

This summer I took a trip to Pessione, Italy, the home of Martini vermouth. Pessione is a small town just outside of the city of Turin, in the northwestern part of Italy. The distillery site was chosen as it is close the the railroad, though it is also close to both wine-growing and herb-growing regions. At the distillery, they produce not just vermouths, but also a range of sparkling wines. They also produce more than that: 17 wine-based products and 12 spirits are made at the distillery altogether. But we were there to talk about vermouth. Luckily, a series of... Read more →

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(Re)Introducing Noilly Prat Extra Dry Vermouth

Last year I had the pleasure of visiting the Noilly Prat vermoutherie in Marseillan, France, where I learned about how it is made. Shortly after the visit, I wrote a blog post about the differences between Noilly Prat Dry (aka Original Dry), Noilly Prat Ambre, and Noilly Prat Rouge. It took a year, but they are finally releasing Noilly Prat Extra Dry on the US Market nationally, so now I'll explain the difference and Extra Dry and Original Dry. From 1979 until 2009, the dry vermouth from Noilly Prat sold on the US market was called "French Dry Vermouth". It... Read more →

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Noilly Prat Vermouth: The Differences Between Original Dry, Rouge, and Ambre

In yesterday's post I discussed how Noilly Prat vermouth is made, as learned on my visit to the vermoutherie in Marseillan, France. Today I want to talk about the differences between the types of vermouth they make. In most parts of the world, Original Dry is the only Noilly Prat. The Rouge is primarily for the US market, and the Ambre is available in a few liquor stores in Europe and at the distillery. (The Rouge is also available at the distillery.) Noilly Prat Original Dry One-year-aged clairette and picpoul wines, aged, fortified sweet mistelle wine the from muscat grape,... Read more →

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Making Vermouth: A Trip to Noilly Prat in Marseillan, France

Though vermouth as an essential ingredient in cocktails, I never gave much though to its production, figuring it was just a simple infusion of herbs in fortified wine. It turns out there is a lot more to it than that. This June I visited Marseillan, France, the home of Noilly Prat vermouth. There, it is pronounced "No-ah-lee Pra" or "No-ah-lee Praht". This brand is considered the first commercial dry-style vermouth in the world, dating to 1813. The recipe was created then in Marseilles by Joseph Noilly. His son moved production to Marseillan in 1850 and his when his grandson-in-law joined... Read more →

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Shhh! It's a Secret

These are notes on the Shhh! It's a Secret seminar at the Tales of the Cocktail convention. For alcohol products you have to list your ingredients, method, etc. to the TTB before approval - the whole recipe, in gernal. This isn't the same for non-alcoholic products. Lillet is in a category of tonic wine, rather than vermouth. In 1886 John Pemberton released a syrup with cola nuts and coca- Coca Cola. But one year before that there was John Pemberton's Nerve Wine Coca, a "tonic wine". This was changed based on the coming backlash against alcohol. In 1863 in France,... Read more →

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