What is Vermouth?
Vermouth is wine that’s been infused with botanicals -- such as herbs, roots, and barks -- and lightly fortified with a neutral spirit, like brandy. Unlike sweet vermouths (typically used in a Manhattan or Negroni), dry versions are essential to a martini (and also good sipped over ice). With their balance of acidity and sweetness, they make a great substitute for white wine in all kinds of recipes.
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Martini Extra Dry is an affordable, easy-to-find option that’s great for cooking. It's the classic Italian vermouth.
Dolin is the benchmark against which French vermouths are measured. It's more complex than the Martini -- perfect for when you want the botanicals to shine through, as in the sabayon recipe below.
Don't keep your vermouth in a bar cart or cupboard along with gin, whiskey and other spirits. Like other wines, vermouth begins to oxidize once opened and so should be stored in the refrigerator.
Shrimp Stir-Fry With Vermouth
When you think of a quick weeknight dinner, chances are you consider a shrimp entree or a stir-fry, or maybe think to combine those two. If you do, kudos to you and may we suggest you add vermouth to your stir fry-soy sauce mixture?
Potatoes with Vermouth
Steam 3/4 pound small, whole round potatoes until tender, about 12-15 minutes. Then toss with 2 tablespoons dry vermouth. Use for a spin on salad Nicoise along with drained oil-packed tuna, blanched green beans, and hard-cooked eggs, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Or serve as a vegetable side.
To garnish a Gibson, cocktail onions are essential. Make your own: bring 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 1 cup dry vermouth, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 tablespoon coarse salt to a boil. Pack 1 pound frozen pearl onions and 1 teaspoon each coriander seeds and black peppercorns into a glass jar. Pour in liquid and let cool completely. Cover; refrigerate 1 week before using.
As smooth as silk, as light as air, that's a sabayon. This etheral French dessert is made with egg yolks, wine (or champagne or muscat), and sugar, and cooked gently to thicken into a foamy custard that's served as a dessert or as a dessert sauce. You might know it under it's Italian name zabaglione when it's made with Marsala wine. Why use dry vermouth? Well you just might have a bottle open in the fridge, unlike say Champagne or muscat, and the subtle aromatics in vermouth shine in the delicate, sweet froth.