It’s Time for March (Classic Martini) Madness

Photo Credit: Poul Lange

Slate.com has no shortage of excellent content, but their interactive Martini Madness contest is the most brilliant thing I’ve seen on the site yet. Their contributors researched most everything that’s been written on the world’s most iconic cocktail, distilling it into 80 drinks, with recipes and the occasional anecdote. Rules of the game? The drink must contain gin and vermouth. Everything else is up for grabs. Which recipes make it into the final NCAA-inspired brackets? You decide.

Read More

Tasting Notes: Atsby Armadillo Cake

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAIf I handed you an aperitif that started out with cardamom, cinnamon, and caramel notes, followed by a slightly astringent spice tea-like quality in the mid-palate, with a long, citrusy finish, would you think it was vermouth? Probably not. I’ve been testing Atsby Armadillo Cake out on friends, and not one has guessed that it was a vermouth. Which might be a good thing.

Read More

New American Vermouths Breaking Ground

From a 1907 Italian book on how to make vermouth

From a 1907 Italian book on how to make vermouth

I think it’s fair to say that many cocktail enthusiasts have never even tasted vermouth on its own–even a tiny sip. People must have visions of pickle juice and olive brine stuck in their minds when they cringe at the thought of trying it, which is too bad. A good vermouth is really good. Alone. Over ice. With a bit of soda. But offer it to friends and they’ll turn up their noses. That’s why I like to trick my guests (in a nice way!) by offering them an aperitif when they come to my house for dinner. Only once they give an opinion about the spicy, herbal, delicious drink they’re quaffing do I reveal that the mystery brew is vermouth.

Read More