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Sweet Vermouth Issue


Hatchertiger

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Every now and then I'm in the mood for a Manhattan. Once opened,  I store the vermouth in my refrigerator.  How long can you keep vermouth in the fridge?

 

PS I normally buy Martini & Rossi by default. What are some other good options?

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Harry in WashDC

Unopened, in a cool, dark place: two years.  Taste before using - if it is vinegary, PITCH!!

Look for a Use By/Best By date.  SOME have them.  When I buy multiples, I Sharpie the date of purchase on the label.

 

Opened, on the shelf and NOT refrigerated, not in direct Sun or heat:  maybe up to a month although some commenters say two is OK.  SEE taste test above.  Also, flat taste or chalky taste means PITCH.   It won't hurt you, but it sure does skew cocktail tastes.

 

Opened, in a fridge: up to two months is good, maybe three.  SEE taste . . .

 

I buy 375 mls unless (a) I am desperate, (2) cannot get 375s of a particular vermouth, (III) having a party and making a pitcher of something.

 

Brands I use the most - Dolins white and red and Blanc (although I can only get the Blanc in a 375 by special order); Martini & Rossi (mostly red and then mostly for "Gin & It", a 2:1 neat or cubed or iced cocktail a friend of ours says was a fave in London Blitzes as one could pour it in the dark of the Tube, Carpano Antica (I can get it only in 750s so I save old 375 bottles and decant after I open it; usually purchased in anticipation of a period of heavy entertaining).  It's been years since I bought Noilly Prat, but more than one bartender I know and love says it is "just fine" for everyday drinking.

 

Do some searches on SB for "vermouth" and you should get some discussions from the last two or so years about these and other brands and the cocktails we drink them in.  If you see a note by Tanstaafl2, READ IT.  He swims in the stuff, I betcha.:o  I base this on pictures he has posted here of his "vermouth stash".  Didn't know there were THAT many.  PLUS, his cocktail recipes are SUPER!

 

EDIT #2 - I forgot to mention craft vermouth.  Here in Wash DC, Capitoline makes absolutely wonderful vermouths.  If you have some near you, check them out at least once or at a bar - you never know.

Edited by Harry in WashDC
tipocall typos
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Most people swear by Carpano Anitca. I used to be one of them. (And it's good).

Do yourself a favor however and get some Vermut Lustau. Game changer.

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12 hours ago, flahute said:

Most people swear by Carpano Anitca. I used to be one of them. (And it's good).

Do yourself a favor however and get some Vermut Lustau. Game changer.

Is it more or less expensive than the Anitca?

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1 hour ago, geclbxf said:

Is it more or less expensive than the Anitca?

Antica is wonderful, but try Cocchi Di Torino.  I think every bit as good and maybe better than the Antico and about $10 less.  It's the only legit AOC di Torino out there and it is perfect for a Manhattan. Definite upgrade from M&R.

 

Also, great breakdown by @Harry in WashDC.  I'd add that red vermouths tend to be stable a bit longer than Extra Dry and Bianco styles.  Up to 3 months refrigerated has been good with me, but the clears tend to start going off after about 6 weeks.  

 

Had this out with the wine buyer at my LLS.  I get a 1L bottle of M&R to make a batched martini (extra dry) and its sour.  Blows a 750 of gin up.  Buyer gives me my $5 back on the vermouth.  $5?  Yup. He says he got a "great buy" and why would anyone pay $9 for a 750 when they can get a L for less?  No date codes on M&R.  Uhmmm...  I"m guessing he should stick to boxed wines.  And I won't buy anything perishable there anymore.  I'll stick to the fast turn box stores, thanks...

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Harry in WashDC
14 hours ago, flahute said:

Most people swear by Carpano Anitca. I used to be one of them. (And it's good).

Do yourself a favor however and get some Vermut Lustau. Game changer.

WHOA!!  Thanks for mentioning Lustau.  Lustau makes some wonderful sherry, and the three Redbreast Irish whiskey 750s finished in Lustau casks that I enjoyed were super.  I shall watch for the vermouth.  OGD replenishment run on THURS AM, and the "also get . . ." part of my list is growing.  Just penciled in "more WT 101" because the handle I can see from the kitchen table is down to about an inch or so left.  I wonder who's been sipping on THAT?

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Be aware that the bigger bottle of Antica is a liter not a 750 when making cost comparisons. That said it is a little more expensive than some of the other vermouths mentioned in this thread. But that powerful vanilla character in Antica is unmistakable and delightful. 
 

Punt e Mes, a somewhat more bitter vermouth from the same company as Antica is often called for by name in some classic cocktails. Carpano has also started making a more standard vermouth line up that is pretty good and getting more available.

 

I rarely leave open vermouth unused even when refrigerated and with a vacuvin for much more than a month and prefer to use it as quickly. But some people would say I am overly picky...

 

And I can drink Antica and other red sweet vermouth by the glass like a wine so I rarely have to worry about it going bad!

 

Vermouth had been exploding until the Pandemic with some bars opening up special all vermouth menu programs! Seemed like there was a new label showing up every week with new and intricate flavors to be had.

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