vermouth Feed

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 →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


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 →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


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 →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


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 →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


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 →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


In Friday's FineCooking.com blog entry, I have a little story about how I remember which vermouth is which: sweet, French, white, Italian, dry, red. I could never keep them straight until I came up with a mnemonic device. Read it here. Plus! There is also the recipe for the Bamboo cocktail. Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.


My new story for the San Francisco Chronicle is online. Latest cocktail trend is low-alcohol drinks Camper English, Special to The Chronicle Friday, September 17, 2010 Like a food menu, a proper cocktail list reflects a chosen theme while catering to a variety of diners. The low-alcohol drinks now showing up around San Francisco are designed to satisfy cocktail flexitarians who aren't avoiding alcohol but who don't want the calories, the rapid buzz or that full feeling. For some drinkers, it's like small-plates dining. "I like cocktails so much that sometimes I wish all booze was lower in proof because... Read more →

Get Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF.