As you already know if you are a follower of our blog, vermouth reached an incredible peak of success during the beginning of 1900. It’s expansion started in Turin, also thanks to the marketing and success of Martini, (see Vermouth A.C. (After Carpano) – History of Italian modern vermouth) , reached the US and Russia, and even reached eastern lands, as Honk Hong.
Born in Italy, vermouth starts immediately its expansion in the nearby areas; France was the first. According to the blog Saperbere, starting in 1813 some wineries of the southern regions of France, mainly Bordeaux and Marseille, seen the favorable condition of the area, wide white wines production and many botanicals, started producing vermouth.
However, they could not manage to compete against Turin’s sweet vermouths, and decided to specialize, with great success, in the production of dry vermouths. In this area and period in fact brands such as Dolin, Lillet and Noilly Prat were born.
Spain follows France, and in 1876 the first Spanish vermouth is produced in Catalonia: vermouth Perucchi. The Perucchi family had ancestors in Turin. As for the southern regions of France, also Catalunia had an excellent environment for raw materials, as the area is in fact known for its mild white wines.
Spain manages to make vermouth’s tradition its own; many wineries start producing mainly sweet vermouths, as it was originally in Turin. This drink was elected as a favorite for weekends pre-lunch aperitivo, this consumption moment is called by Spaniards “vermut”. This makes you understand how deep in the Spanish tradition vermouth is.
Reus, Catalonia, gained the name of Spanish capital of vermouth; it is in this city that Yzaguirre vermouth was born, in 1884. Yzaguirre is the main author of the huge success vermouth is having in Spain among young people.
Some years later, we finally see a flowering of vermouth’s production even in the US. The American market was ruled by Italian and French vermouths, and just the cheaper and larger vermouth brands managed to sell in that market. America had to wait until 1998 to see the first American craft vermouth.
According to Sam Slaughter in “the story of American craft vermouth” Andrew Quady decided to produce the first American vermouth because he was convinced that the cocktails could be better using more vermouth, if there was a better vermouth available.
He was right. During the first years after 2000 the cocktail lived a golden age in the US and vermouth was one of the main architects of this success. During this cocktail renaissance many barmen started digging for new and old quality products for their bars. Is in this moment that, seen the high demand, another great American vermouth is born: Atsby vermouth.
How is it possible that this fortified wine is so known, used and important if the majority of people doesn’t even know how it tastes?
Easy, it’s because vermouth is the new black. Fits everywhere.
Gin & Vermouth: Both are the result of a magical mix of spices and botanicals. They are sometimes born from the same botanicals and often they meet again in a Martini glass, gin, vermouth and an olive.
Whiskey & Vermouth: Together for the first time in Manhattan, in a Manhattan, they are always together since then.
Rum & Vermouth: Cuba, a white French vermouth and a white Cuban rum met, El Presidente was born.
Vermouth is an exceptional mixer for tequila, and clearly also for Campari and bitters. Anyway the easiest way to serve it is just with a splash of soda, this will allow the drinker to taste all the complex flavor of such fortified wine.
If you are passionate about cocktails, vermouth will be a recurring element in your life, and if you like aperitivo, too. Unless you are a nondrinker/abstainer (sorry for the bad word) you drunk and you will continue to drink vermouth. Therefore, if you are interested in quality drinking, ask your barman for a tasting, or go and buy one or more vermouth’s bottles (they’ll end immediately) and then let us know which one was your favorite! Cheers.
My name is Ettore Velluto, I’m a vermouth enthusiast, I like extraordinary cocktails and I’m definitely a foodie. I earned my MsC in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ESADE Business School and at the moment I’m enrolled in the Coursera’s Social Media Marketing course.