Here are some style basics:
Dry/French — clear to pale gold in color, dry; the Martini vermouth
blanc/bianco — clear, with a touch of sweetness; a must for the el presidente cocktail
sweet/Italian — red, sweet, usually with a touch of baking spices; the Manhattan vermouth
rosé/rosa/rosato — pink, like a hybrid of dry and blanc, with a pleasant gentian bitterness
Some of our current favorites, which can be found at specialty wine and spirits shops, include:
Massican dry vermouth — a small-production vermouth made by outstanding California winemaker Dan Petroski. You hardly miss the gin with this vermouth; it is profoundly botanical, showing notes of fresh rosemary, oregano, bay laurel and underlying citrus. It is a touch sweeter than traditional French dry vermouths, making it delightful to sip simply chilled, or on the rocks. This is our go-to fridge vermouth. It also is outstanding in our favorite 50/50 martini, made with equal parts gin and vermouth.
Partida Creus Muz vermouth — one of the more full-bodied drinking vermouths we’ve had in a while. It is intense, with warm baking spice and dark bitter cocoa powder. The natural wines of Catalonia’s Partida Creus are hard to find, but this vermouth thankfully is more available in Georgia — and comes in a liter bottle! It tastes delicious with an orange peel twist, and adds spice and vibrancy to a boulevardier cocktail.
Cocchi americano rosa — has a rich color, floral botanicals and a pleasant bitterness typical of the americano category of fortified wines. A go-to bar staple in cocktails, both shaken and stirred, it deserves its moment of recognition for sipping and spritzing. Use it as an alternative to aperol, with a squeeze of lemon and generous pour of prosecco.
The Slaters are beverage industry veterans and the proprietors of the Expat and the Lark Winespace in Athens.
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