Tropical cocktails
Vermouth: the first tastemaker


Vermouth is at the base of some of the oldest and most famous cocktails around.

In ancient times the idea of aromatizing wine with spices and herbs was first seen. Even today there are still many old family recipes, like for instance for peach wines, that result in original beverages based on wine. Although the word vermouth is of German origins --Vermut means absinth -- , it was in Italy where in the 17th century the new techniques to make aromatized wines called Vermouth were discovered. Soon thereafter those techniques spread over the alps to Chambery and Herault in France, where we can still find traditional vermouth production techniques. However, the region surround Torino in Italy remains the center of vermouth production, for a large part thanks to the great success that the firm Martini & Rossi achieved.

Besides the obligation to use only white wine and limit the alcohol percentage to 18%, there are no restrictions for the vermouth distillers, enabling them to use many different ingredients. These vermouth distillers usually dip into the well of old recipes of inventive liquor stoker from days long gone. The main target of today's distillers is to create a well balanced and stabile aperitif that is characteristic for their brand. The production methods and recipes are, there fore, very well kept secrets.

Vermouth, originally from Italy, is a bartender's favorite because it mixes so well with all kinds of spirits.

There are different types of vermouth:

  • Rosso (Red): a sweet variant that does not owe his color to the use of red wine, but rather to an added ingredient: Caramel;
  • Bianco (White): equivalent to red vermouth with a similar soft taste
  • Dry: a more bitter type of alcohol which is particularly suitable for making the famous Americano.

In Torino one can find a few other vermouths that are blended with vanilla or quinine, for example. Vermouth was originally a local aperitif, but thanks to the bartenders that made it into one of their favorite ingredients for cocktails, vermouth can now be found all around the world.

Whether it is red, white or dry vermouth, it was loved from the very beginning of cocktail making and can be found it the first and most famous cocktails like the Martini Dry and the Manhattan.

Byrrh Cocktail

a short drink which is commonly consumed as an aperitif and makes the specific taste come out real well.

Put in a shaker that is filled with 50% ice:

4/10 Byrr
2/10 dry Vermouth
3/10 Bourbon (or Scotch)

Shake and serve in chilled cocktail glasses.


a refreshing long drink for any time of the day, in which sweet, bitter and sour are combined.

Put in a large tumbler glass with some ice cubes:

4/10 Campari
3/10 Cointreau
3/10 Lemon Juice

Shake well and top off with tonic.



Short drink: Aperitif.

Put in a mixing glass with some ice cubes:

5/10 Campari
5/10 Pineapple Juice

Stir and strain into small tumbler glasses with crushed ice. Decorate with some parts of pineapple and serve with a straw.


Long drink: at any time.

Put in a shaker that is filled with 50% ice:

4/10 Dry Vermouth
2/10 Peach Liqueur
1/10 Gin
3/10 Peach Juice
half tsp. Honey

Shake well and serve in tumbler glasses. Decorate with a slice of peach.


More cocktails based on: | Gin | Vodka | Tequila | Rum | Whisky | Calvados | Cognac | Vermouth | Port | Anise drinks & bitters | Liqueurs | Wine | Champagne | Beer | warm cocktails |