A couple years ago as my cocktail knowledge and experience grew a fact came at me from left field that had never occurred to me. The primary ingredient in vermouth is wine and this meant that like all wine, especially once opened, a shelf life clock is ticking. The bottle occupying a spot on my shelf that I used infrequently, which I had purchased years ago had gone bad and I was none the wiser. There are two things to know about storing Vermouth
Once opened, keep it in your refrigerator
When refrigerated, a bottle can typically hold on for at least 6-8 weeks if not more
Regardless though of this hopefully helpful knowledge, this can still create a bit of a headache for aspiring home bartenders. You’re excited about integrating cocktails more into your life more but since you may only use an ounce or so at a time in a Martini or Manhattan, owning vermouth begins to feel more like a burden. If I buy a bottle is it going to go bad on me before I use it up? I hear you.
One minor change in what to use it for though can quickly ease that burden and make owning a bottle or two more enjoyable. Since Vermouth is primarily wine the perspective shift is, treat drinking it from time-to-time or regularly like you do wine itself.
Do you enjoy having a glass of wine after work, while cooking or eating dinner? Pour yourself some vermouth instead. You’ll enjoy wine with a little extra proof plus a wider array of flavors and aromas. It’s delightful.
Or if you’re feeling “fancy”, you can spruce it up with little work. Add some ice, club soda and maybe a citrus garnish and you have a spritz. No need to shake or stir just build it right in your glass.
Another simple recipe with a bit of history is the Americano, which pre-dates and influenced the Negroni. Just take 1.5 ounces of sweet vermouth and Campari along with some club soda. Add a slice of orange if available.
There you have it. Vermouth, it’s not just for cocktails anymore.
Here’s to the #CuriousImbiber life.