Getting the most of your Vermouth
Over the years the fact Vermouth is wine has some how been forgotten. Wine connoisseurs are strict when keeping there wines, storing them perfectly, yet Vermouth is on back bars open to the elements. Learn to store Vermouth properly and you’ll have a product that performs well for much longer.
Storing Vermouth is simple, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Keep your Vermouth sealed
Keeping vermouth sealed is the most important part of prolonging its life, vermouth goes ‘bad’ from oxidisation. Store Vermouth away from fresh air to slow this, a few good ways to do this are below.
- Always keep your Vermouth bottle sealed, this can be in its original bottle or in a air tight container or bottle such as an Kilner Jar.
- Decant your vermouth into smaller bottles where necessary, this will mean you’re only opening a smaller amount at a time leaving less to oxidise.
- If you have a vacuum packing machine, split your vermouth into smaller bags (125ml is my preferred measure). The smaller measures allows you to open them as necessary. Vacuum Sealing will keep your vermouth fresh indefinitely! A great way to store Vermouth when you’re not using much.
- If you don’t have a vacuum packer, you can use an immersion method with a simple grip seal bag to expel the air from the bag as you seal it.
Keeping your Vermouth cold will help slow down the oxidisation process, and keeping them at their best. Starting with simply putting your Vermouth in the fridge. On a bar you’ll find most put their vermouth into the fruit fridge or with the wines.
If you have no space for this, Vermouth can last out of the fridge but you’ll need to be using it in larger quantities, my advise would be to decant into a smaller bottle, then you should be able to find space in a fridge and have the remaining large bottle in your cellar.
Not using much…
If Vermouth isn’t a focus for you, which I understand it’s a necessary requirement for most bars but not always a focus.
I’d recommend buying the smaller bottles and keeping them in the fridge, brands like the Antica Formula sell 35cl bottles, or buy some smaller air tight bottles and keep the large bottles in your cellar.
When your Vermouth keeps going bad, most bars opt to buying cheaper brands, so if they turn, there is less cost involved. I have found higher quality Vermouths tend give you a longer lifespan. For example the fortified wine Byrrh Grand QuinQuina can last for months in the fridge, in general Sweet Vermouth can hold it’s own for a month or so, I’ve had some Sweet Vermouth which has lasted years on my shelf.
How to use more
It’s become less fashionable over the years to use vermouth in cocktails modern cocktail, an issue i’ll be tackling in a later article. If you’re bar is struggling to keep it’s vermouth fresh (Which with my above advice shouldn’t be an issue), try to use more. Vermouth shouldn’t be limited to ‘stiff drinks’ like the Martini and Manhattan. Below are two recipes using high quantities of vermouth, showing these can be used in modern cocktails;
Raspberry & Rhubarb Clover Club
- 35ml Slingsby Rhubarb Gin
- 25ml Oscar.697 Rosso
- 25ml Lemon Juice
- 5ml House of Broughton Raspberry Syrup
- 1 Egg White
- 2 Dash The Bitter Truth Creole Bitters
Shake & Fine Strained into a chilled coupe glass. Garnished with Edible Flowers & Raspberry Powder
Apple & Cucumber Spritz
- 25ml Oscar.697 Bianco
- 10ml Willy’s Cider Apple Sours
- 10ml Lime Juice
- 10ml House of Broughton Cucumber Syrup
- Topped with English Sparkling Wine
Shake & Fine Strained into a Champagne Flute.Garnished with a Lemon Zest
Vermouth is a great addition to your bar and it looking after it correctly is vital. I hope this has given you some ideas on how you can keep your vermouth fresh for every cocktail!
The Vermouth Ambassador