Vermouth is a type of fortified wine that has been infused with various botanicals, such as herbs, spices, roots, and flowers. It is a popular ingredient in many cocktails and is enjoyed on its own as an aperitif. Vermouth comes in different styles, each with its unique taste, aroma, and color. In this article, we will explore the differences between three types of vermouths - Extra Dry, Blanco, and Rosso/Roja.
What is Vermouth?
Vermouth is a type of fortified wine that originated in Italy in the 18th century. It is made by infusing a base wine with a mixture of botanicals, which can include herbs, spices, roots, and flowers. The botanicals are macerated in the wine for a period of time, giving it its characteristic flavor and aroma. Vermouth is then fortified with a neutral spirit, usually brandy, to increase its alcohol content and preserve it.
Vermouth is classified according to its sweetness level, which can range from extra dry to sweet. It also comes in different colors, including white (Blanco), red (Rosso/Roja), and amber.
Extra Dry Vermouth
Extra Dry Vermouth is the driest and least sweet of all vermouth styles. It has a pale yellow color and a subtle herbal aroma with a hint of citrus. Extra Dry Vermouth is typically used in cocktails that require a dry and crisp flavor profile, such as a Martini or a Negroni. It can also be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif, served chilled with a twist of lemon.
Bianco Vermouth, also known as White Vermouth, is a sweet and floral style of vermouth. It has a pale yellow color and a delicate aroma of herbs, flowers, and citrus. Bianco Vermouth is a versatile style that can be used in various cocktails, including the classic Martini and Manhattan. It can also be enjoyed on its own, served chilled with a slice of orange.
Rosso/Roja Vermouth, also known as Red Vermouth, is a sweet and full-bodied style of vermouth. It has a deep red color and a complex aroma of herbs, spices, and fruits. Rosso/Roja Vermouth is commonly used in cocktails that require a rich and bold flavor, such as a Negroni or a Manhattan. It can also be enjoyed on its own, served chilled with a slice of orange or a dash of bitters.
The Differences between Extra Dry, Bianco, and Rosso/Roja Vermouths
The main differences between Extra Dry, Bianco, and Rosso/Roja Vermouths are their sweetness level, color, and flavor profile. Extra Dry Vermouth is the driest and least sweet of all vermouth styles, with a pale yellow color and a subtle herbal aroma. Bianco Vermouth is a sweet and floral style of vermouth, with a pale yellow color and a delicate aroma of herbs, flowers, and It is commonly used in cocktails that require sweet and light vermouth, such as the Martini or the Manhattan. On the other hand, Rosso/Roja Vermouth is a red or amber-colored vermouth with a more robust and bitter flavor profile, featuring notes of spices, wood, and bitter herbs. It is commonly used in cocktails that require a full-bodied and complex vermouth, such as the Negroni or the Boulevardier.
The Best Cocktails to Make with Extra Dry, Blanco, and Rosso/Roja Vermouths
Vermouth is an essential ingredient in many classic cocktails, and each style of vermouth can add its unique flavor profile to a drink. Here are some of the best cocktails to make with Extra Dry, Blanco, and Rosso/Roja Vermouths:
Extra Dry Vermouth Cocktails
- Martini: The Martini is a classic cocktail made with gin and Extra Dry Vermouth. It has a crisp and dry flavor profile that is perfect for those who prefer a less sweet cocktail.
- Gibson: The Gibson is a variation of the Martini that is garnished with a pickled onion instead of a lemon twist. Due to the onion garnish, it has a slightly sweeter flavor profile than the Martini.
Bianco Vermouth Cocktails
- Vesper: The Vesper is a cocktail that was created by James Bond in the novel Casino Royale. It is made with gin, vodka, and Blanco Vermouth, and has a smooth and refreshing flavor profile.
- Adonis: The Adonis is a cocktail that is made with sherry, Blanco Vermouth, and bitters. It has a rich and complex flavor profile that is perfect for sipping on a cold evening.
Rosso/Roja Vermouth Cocktails
- Negroni: The Negroni is a cocktail that is made with gin, Campari, and Rosso/Roja Vermouth. The bold and complex flavor profile of the Rosso/Roja Vermouth adds depth and richness to the drink.
- Manhattan: The Manhattan is a classic cocktail that is made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. Using Rosso/Roja Vermouth instead of sweet vermouth adds a deep and fruity flavor profile to the drink.
- Boulevardier: The Boulevardier is a cocktail that is made with whiskey, Campari, and Rosso/Roja Vermouth. It has a bitter and complex flavor profile that is perfect for those who enjoy a bold and flavorful cocktail.
How to Store Vermouth
Vermouth is a delicate wine that should be stored properly to maintain its flavor and aroma. Here are some tips on how to store vermouth:
- Keep vermouth in the refrigerator after opening to prevent oxidation.
- Use a vacuum pump to remove air from the bottle after opening.
- Store vermouth in a dark and cool place, away from direct sunlight and heat.
- Avoid storing vermouth for too long as it can lose its flavor and aroma over time.
How to Serve Vermouth
Vermouth can be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif or used as an ingredient in cocktails. Here are some tips on how to serve vermouth:
- Extra Dry Vermouth: Serve chilled with a twist of lemon or use it as an ingredient in dry cocktails.
- Blanco Vermouth: Serve chilled with a slice of orange or use it as an ingredient in floral cocktails.
- Rosso/Roja Vermouth: Serve chilled with a slice of orange or use it as an ingredient in bold and fruity cocktails.
Vermouth is a type of aromatized wine that is fortified with brandy and infused with various herbs, spices, and botanicals. It is made by macerating these ingredients in a base wine, typically a white wine, and then fortifying it with brandy to increase its alcohol content.
Extra Dry Vermouth has a crisp and dry flavor profile, with less sweetness and a higher acidity level. Bianco Vermouth is a sweeter and more delicate style, with floral and citrus notes. Rosso/Roja Vermouth has a bolder and fruitier flavor profile, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and bitter herbs.
Yes, vermouth can go bad, especially if it is not stored properly. Once opened, it should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within a few weeks to prevent oxidation and loss of flavor and aroma.
While vermouth can last for several months, it is best consumed within a few weeks of opening to ensure the best flavor and aroma. Proper storage in a cool, dark place away from sunlight and heat can help preserve the vermouth's quality.
Celebrate With Us
Shake up your style with Cocktail Critters' Vermouth & Martini pins, stickers and accessories! Don't be a plain Jane or Joe, add some extra garnish to your outfit today. Head over to Cocktail Critters and mix and match your favorite accessories now! Cheers to looking sharp and sipping in style!