When it comes to the current trends in the beverage trade and gastronomy, vermouth is on the rise and could become the new in-drink, especially as an aperitif. But, is this really the truth?
We had many conversations lately and whenever we mentioned the word “vermouth”, we were met with astonished expressions and questions such as “Vermouth is so bitter, isn’t it?”, “Isn’t that absinthe?”, “Vermouth schnapps?”. That was reason enough for us to do a little educational work, because vermouth is a really great drink that can be adapted and enjoyed just as versatile as gin.
So what’s the word vermouth? Vermouth is a flavoured, fortified wine. It is flavoured with various herbs and spices, whereby the well-known wormwood herb is of course decisive. To “foritfy” means that the alcohol content of the drink is increased, usually with neutral alcohol, so that it lies between 14.5 and 21.9 percent in volume.
There are 5 different levels of sweetness amongst vermouth. The bitterness that the eponymous vermouth brings with it increases as the degree of sweetness decreases. For example, an “extra dry” vermouth may contain a maximum of 30g sugar per litre, while “sweet” vermouth has at least 130g sugar per litre. In between there are still dry, semi dry and semi sweet.
Incidentally, the basis for a vermouth doesn’t have to be white wine, but can be a red or rose wine.
But why is vermouth so unknown and why should that change? Well, firstly, vermouth is currently hardly consumed neat, but is mostly just part of cocktails, such as a Martini or Negroni. The consumer does not establish a relationship with the product or the brand. In addition, there are currently only a few brands that are well known. In shops it’s sometimes very difficult to find the shelf with the vermouth; often you even have to search in the bottom rows. This fact alone confirms how dusty the reputation of the former classic has become. Wineries often have vermouth in their range, which is usually only advertised regionally. The current upturn in the beverage market due to the so-called craft scene could ensure that new, interesting brands soon emerge that have the potential to achieve a high level of awareness and market penetration on a national and international level.
The result of a recent collaboration that aims to do just that is “Vermouth 700”. Gut Moser and the Distillery Krauss have teamed up and combined their excellent products. The two companies had actually come together for another common product, but it was already apparent from the initial discussions that both companies would like to bring a vermouth to the market this year. Since the chemistry between the managing directors was right, it made sense to start the vermouth project together. Ideas were combined, tastes coordinated, mixed drinks tested, and the Vermouth 700 was born.
The special thing about this drink is that it is perfect for the classic vermouth cocktails, but is also an absolute pleasure on its own. Ice-cold in a white wine glass with an orange slice; you can enjoy it as an aperitif or as a well-deserved after-work drink. For everyone who likes things a little easier (Vermouth 700 has 18.5 percent by volume), any ginger ale or classic tonic is suitable for mixing.
“Our goal was to bring a first-class drink to the market so that people find it more appealing to try vermouth and reinterpret it”, the two parties, Peter Kapun and Werner Krauss, agree. The first-class Sauvignon, which forms the basis of Vermouth 700, comes from Gut Moser, Austria’s highest winery. In addition to neutral alcohol, the G+ Oak Cask Gin from Distillery Krauss was also added during distillation. This gin is stored in wooden barrels and was awarded a gold medal at the World Spirits Award 2017, 2018 and 2019, giving the vermouth that certain something and makes it something very special.