Tag Archive: Dry Vermouth


Spicey Citrus Bourbon Punch

In the desert with friends, and it’s time to roll out the Bourbon punch. I mean, it’s spicey, it’s Bourbony it’s just darn good… Just like my friends! This drink is a lot like Russian roulette, you have to roll the dice to determine how adventurous you’re gonna be. Are you looking for tex-mex levels of spice, or full on Thai food 10… Because this drink can comfortably meet each extreme.

I’ve had numerous requests for this drink, so let’s get it on the blog so we can all share in its greatness! This is an oh so slightly modified version of a Bon Appetite recipe.

  • 1 bottle (750ml) Makers Mark
  • 3 jalapeño chiles
  • 3 Serrano chiles
  • 1.75 cups dry vermouth
  • 1.75 cups grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup simple syrup

This takes a little preparation. Cut the chiles in half lengthwise and place in a pitcher with the bottle of Bourbon. Let sit for at least 25 minutes, no more than 40 minutes. Strain the liquid to remove the chiles. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Serve from the pitcher over ice and garnish with a lime and jalapeño slice. Makes 16 servings.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • When something is right, it’s right. So beware, and don’t overdo the spice.
  • Shocking that not only can you taste the dry Vermouth, but it works so well on the cocktail.
  • Drink is overall sweet, and the first sip will hit you with a nice warm finish. And then it just keeps getting better.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • Go make yourself a batch… Just make sure you have some friends with you to finish it!
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Algonquin

Time for a drink named after a hotel… a 1920s New York hotel at that. Browsing through the cocktail book I came across this drink as one I could make with the limited mixers I have on hand… so there you go. It comes from my favorite drink book, so it can’t be too bad, but the combo of ingredients sounds a little optimistic for my taste buds. I’ll report back on the reality below.

  • 2 ounces rye
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 0.5 ounces dry Vermouth

Add everything to a cocktail shaker and stir over ice, strain into a chilled Martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I was expecting this to be horrific if I am being honest, and the reality is that it’s surprisingly ok.
  • Overall taste is dry pineapple juice (is that a thing?) with a kick.
  • Something to serve for those in search of a unique libation.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 7/10
  • Strength: 4/10
  • Sweetness: 6/10
  • Proof that the end result can be better than the sum of its parts.

Alfonso Special Cocktail

One of the first entries in my favorite drink books under the Gin category is the Alfonso Special Cocktail.  As it is right there up front, I often pass it by for a cocktail that sounds a little less boozy and a little more friendly.  Just reading the ingredients makes me think that this just wouldn’t taste good.  That said, this drink has the added benefits of (1) requires no mixers – it’s all liqueur and (2) your guests are almost guaranteed to never have experienced it before.

A unique quest for me is to find the next “long island”, that is, find a cocktail that sounds like it would be okay at best when you find out what’s in it, but takes on a personality of its own when you take your first sip.  Oh, and also taste good.  Tonight I may have found one of those combinations.  For good measure, we’ll make this a Drink of the Month!

  • 3 ounces Grand Marnier
  • 1.5 ounces gin
  • 1.5 ounces dry vermouth
  • 0.5 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and all the ingredients, shake vigorously until chilled and strain into a cold martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I forgot to bury the lead – this drink is surprisingly good.  I was expecting a dry cocktail with an acquired taste, but the Grand Marnier actually sweetens the drink up immensely.
  • There is a lot of complicated flavors in here competing for your attention.  The gin and vermouth help you appreciate the complication of the Grand Marnier without being bowled over by its sweetness.
  • The aftertaste starts with a hit of the dry vermouth and gin, but quickly changes to the a thick orange brandy finish.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 9/10
  • Strength: 6/10 – the taste belies the content
  • Sweetness: 8/10
  • When you are running short of mixers and all you have is a well stocked bar – try this one on for something different and you will not be disappointed.

San Francisco Cocktail

What is Sloe Gin? I’ve always wondered… What makes it sloe? Is it really a type of gin? Who knows. Turns out the internet has answers. It’s made of sloe berries, that are a relative of the plum. It’s very red and looks like it could place a nice bright stain on your beige carpet!

Next job is to determine what this goes with. Tonight’s cocktail is the San Francisco Cocktail.

  • 2 ounces Sloe Gin
  • 1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 ounce Dry Vermouth
  • Dash of Peychard’s Bitters

Shake everything over ice and strain into a chilled Martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Is red, very red. And frothy – an attractive presentation for sure.
  • The mouth feel is syrupy, but it’s not as sweet as you would think, the gin and the dry vermouth help tone it down.
  • Interesting flavor, not too fruity, but lots of interesting flavor.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating – 7/10
  • Strength – 3/10
  • Sweetness – 7/10
  • Unique cocktail, to enjoy the flavor, probably best not to mix with food. Enjoy the subtlety.

Bronx Terrace Cocktail

Bronx

Apparently this Monday was the most depressing Monday of the year.  How do they figure that out?  I know it is the first Monday after the holidays, but you would think that people would still have the New Year’s high – you know – I made this resolution or that resolution, and just you wait, I’m gonna rule the world this year as I lose 20 pounds and cure cancer along the way.  I mean, I would think that it would be more depressing when, say, two weeks from now, you’re feeling bad about the fact that you haven’t started exercising, just polished off a bowl of ice cream and have no idea what possessed you to think that you could cure cancer.  Now that’s depressing.

Speaking of depressing, have you ever come back to something that you thought was good, but actually wasn’t so good.  Enter the Bronx Terrace Cocktail.  Back in 2008 I gave this an 8/10 – let’s see how my taste buds have changed, err, advanced since then.

  • 3 ounces gin
  • 1.5 ounces lime juice
  • 0.75 ounces dry vermouth
  • maraschino cherry

Shake over ice, serve in a chilled martini glass and garnish with that cherry.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Uhh, 8/10… are you kidding me… this is the dry tart martini par excellence.
  • You’ve got your dry gin and your dry vermouth, and then you add nothing but limes, and you get a mouthful of tart.
  • Not undrinkable, but I’m not gonna call this a winner – it looks cool though.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 3/10
  • Strength: 6/10
  • Sweetness: 2/10
  • I’m depressed.  I can’t believe I thought this was an excellent cocktail.  Rookie mistake.  Add some sugar!

 

Bloodhound

Been off track for the last nine days.  No stories with this entry, just a recipe, some thoughts and a rating.  Maybe it’s indicative of the quality of the cocktail.  Let’s get to it.

  • 3 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 3 fresh strawberries

Place everything above into a blender and blend until smooth, pour into a cocktail shaker over ice, shake, strain and serve in a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • First sip is a tough one – as it always is when lots of dry vermouth is involved.
  • After a couple of sips, this is essentially a dry gin martini with a hint – a very subtle hint – of strawberry.
  • Altogether a bit of a let down.  Sounds better than it looks.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 3/10
  • Strength: 8/10
  • Sweetness: 2/10
  • Not my favorite drink, don’t make this expecting a fun fruity cocktail!

I was berated for being ordinary for last nights cocktail.  Buy you have to remember, I need to add all the boring drinks for completeness.  Its all good that you know how to make a fancy cocktail, but what if you want to know how to make something more pedestrian.  Instead of making my case – here’s another fancy one – the New Orleans Martini.

3 ounces vanilla vodka

  • 0.5 ounce dry vermouth
  • 0.5 ounce Pernod
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • mint sprig for garnish

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • The first sip, phew this is strong.  Sounds so much better than the taste.
  • The undertone is vanilla, but the aniseed of Pernod also permeates the drinks.
  • Let’s look to the positive – the drink has a fun in golden tinge.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 3/10
  • Strength: 8/10
  • Sweetness: 3/10
  • New Orleans is a fun place so I hear, this drink – not so much.

Hasty Martini

Sometimes a name has nothing to do with the drink.  Maybe I just don’t get the name, but I don’t understand what exactly is hasty about this drink.  Seemed like a good one to try, although like all drinks with dry vermouth, I am always a little nervous about how this will taste – it could be great or awful.

  • 3 ounces gin
  • 0.5 ounce dry vermouth
  • 3 to 5 dashes of Pernod
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine

Combine the ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker, shake, strain and serve in a martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • The drink is dominated by the dry flavors of the gin and vermouth – if you don’t like those flavors stay away.
  • There is an interesting spiciness to the aftertaste that comes from the subtle hint of Pernod.
  • Definitely a tough first sip, but more enjoyable each time you come back for another.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 4/10
  • Strength: 9/10
  • Sweetness: 3/10
  • It might be pink, and it may have grenadine, but this is no Shirley Temple.

Sunshine Cocktail

Needed a little sunshine in my life today to offset the rain that is falling down.  We might even have a thunderstorm tomorrow – the horror.  The recipe does not give me a lot of confidence with all that dry vermouth in there… we will see if the sun can shine through.

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 dashes of creme de cassis
  • 1.25 ounces of gold rum
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth

Shake well over ice, strain and serve in a chilled martini glass.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • I tried the first sip and it was not really that pleasant, too much vermouth flavor in the aftertaste.
  • Second sip and things were looking up I, I start to get the sense that the vermouth really helps the flavor.
  • No getting away from the fact there is a whole lime in here, the tartness stays with you after a couple of sips.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 6/10
  • Strength: 5/10
  • Sweetness: 5/10
  • Made my day a little brighter, a little.

Desperate Martini

When Kathryn was a young lass (and I think that she was not alone in this) she thought that blackberry brandy was a great way to start her drinking career.  Then she tried it and realized while it did have blackberry flavor, it also has brandy – not a drink for a novice palate.  Now I have never tried the stuff for some reason and I keep seeing it in recipes, so I just had to get me some, especially as Ralph’s as having their 30% off 6 bottles of liquor sale!  Not only did I try it, I went all in with blackberry brandy AND dry vermouth… is this a dangerous combination or a fantastic blend of flavors…

  • 3 ounces gin (Bombay Sapphire)
  • 0.5 ounce dry vermouth
  • 0.5 blackberry brandy
  • fresh blackberries to garnish (we had to forgo these today).

Pour the liquid in a martini glass over ice and shake, serve in a chilled martini glass and garnish with fresh blackberries.

Dave’s Thoughts:

  • Whoa.  Gin, dry vermouth… is there blackberries in here ?  Could have fooled me.
  • On a second and third sip, the powerful dry vermouth flavor gets a little more friendly… like that person from your past that friended you on Facebook that you really didn’t want to know any more, but you decide it’s not so bad they know what you’re doing after reading a couple of their posts.
  • The drink has a hint of blackberries and honestly I cannot taste the brandy.
  • If you’re desperate, you might want to make this for yourself.

Tasting Notes:

  • Dave’s Rating: 3/10
  • Strength: 9/10 (careful… lots of liquor in here)
  • Sweetness: 1/10
  • I think I may have made the same mistake Kathryn did many years ago.  One of these days I’ll find a good use for blackberry brandy.