World Vermouth Day, March 21
Renowned bartender and vermouth producer Giancarlo Mancino has created the world’s first Vermouth Day to celebrate this aromatized and fortified wine. The 2nd edition will take place on March 21, which corresponds with the beginning of the spring season.
So what is vermouth? Well, we think it’s the unsung hero of cocktails. A aromatised fortified wine, in which wormwood is a popular ingredient in these infusions. It’s the German word for wormwood – wermut – that gives its name to the drink.
Through the years vermouth transformed from a medicinal tonic to an enjoyable libation. Italy’s Piedmont and France’s Savoie regions became the heart of production, thanks to their alpine terrain, rich in wormwood and other botanicals.
Vermouth’s popularity rose in the 19th century when bartenders began to use it as a key ingredient in the popular new drinks called cocktails. Over time vermouth became a key ingredient in classics such as Negroni, Manhattan, Americano, and Martini.
Historically their are two types of vermouth: sweet red or dry white. Today the selection is more sophisticated and the range of styles includes extra-dry white, sweet white (bianco, blanc), red (rosso, rouge, roux), amber (ambrato, ambre) and rose.
Because it’s a fortified wine, an open bottle will keep for much longer than regular wine. But unlike spirits, an opened bottle of vermouth will gradually oxidise and deteriorate over time. So keep your open bottle in the fridge and it will keep for up to three months.
Vermouth is made using wine grapes as a base ingredient. After aging a short while, a grape spirit and/or a sugar syrup are added, before the whole mixture is combined with dry aromatic spice ingredients. These can vary, but they include cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, citrus, juniper, ginger, and marjoram. The result is a sweet, delicious drink that forms a perfect mix for many cocktails – although in Italy and France it is also often consumed on its own as an aperitif.
World Vermouth Day is a time to celebrate this marvelous invention that has stood the test of time and become one of the key components for any drinks cupboard. After all, some of the best cocktails all include vermouth, and you can’t call yourself a connoisseur without knowing how to use it! On this day, the elegant drink is given pride of place, allowing it to flourish and giving a true appreciation to its many scents, floral notes, and other wonderful flavors.