Vermouth in Cocktails - The Golden Ratio

By Jamie Boudreau

Vermouth is an often miss treated ingredient behind the bar. Like wine, vermouth should be refrigerated after opening and used within two weeks. Some of the best cocktail are made with vermouth; the Manhattan and the Martini to name two. With The Golden Ratio, using vermouth in your next cocktail creation can be simple and fun.

Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 oz Maker's 46

3/4 Punt e Mes

1/4 Apricot Liqueur

dash Angostura Bitters

Instructions

stir with ice

strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Comments
Trevor 11 Nov 2010
11:18 am

Does this ratio work with dry vermouth as well?

blair frodelius 12 Nov 2010
4:59 am

The “Mister Potato Head of Ratios”.  LOL.

Seriously, great advice Jamie!

Blair
http://goodspiritsnews.wordpress.com

Jamie Boudreau 29 Nov 2010
4:13 pm

Trevor:
Absolutely. This should work with any aperitif style liquid and even, to some extent, amaros!

charlie 1 Dec 2010
8:43 am

Mr Boudreau - What do you call this particular recipe you mix here?

Jamie Boudreau 1 Dec 2010
9:01 am

I’m afraid that I never named it as it was literally made up on the spot as I grabbed bottles that were closest to me. In the off chance that this may already be a classic cocktail, I’ll name it the “Praecocia Cocktail”, until I find out that this combination has already been created.

Greg Patenaude 1 Dec 2010
1:37 pm

Jamie,

This is kind of a Catch-22 for me.  I just recently aquired some Carpano and I’m dying to open it.  However, at 1L it is bigger than the standard size (750mL) and since I only make drinks for myself and guests a bottle of vermouth last longer than at say the bar you work at.  When I open it, I’m going to want to drink it quickly before it goes off but I can only drink so much!  I feel like if I open it I’m just going to waste it.  Too bad they don’t make smaller sizes.  Arrg!!  As always, thanks for the great show and a great episode.

Greg

blair frodelius 1 Dec 2010
2:25 pm

Greg,

You can double the life of your Carpano if you keep it refrigerated and use a vacuum wine saver to cap it after each use.

I feel your pain!

Cheers!

Blair
http://goodspiritsnews.wordpress.com

charlie 1 Dec 2010
2:54 pm

Wow, fast answer, Jamie! Thanks, I will try the Praecocia. But I’ve just gotta ask: You’re a Seattle bartender and you’re posting at 8am Pacific Time? WTF?!?

Jamie Boudreau 1 Dec 2010
4:32 pm

Greg:
be aware that sweet vermouths last waaaaaaay longer than dry. Refrigerate and vacuum seal and your good for a while.

Charlie:
Good lord I was dead asleep at that hour. The clock is in PST, which says that I posted at 11am my time.

Greg Patenaude 1 Dec 2010
5:15 pm

Blair:
I definitely keep my vermouth in the fridge but I’ll look into buying a vacu seal.  A question though, does using a vacu seal ‘change’ the flavour of the vermouth?  I ask because I’ve read some reviews on vacu seals and the opinions vary widely (admittedly, they were amazon reviews, but…).  Have any of you noticed anything?

Jamie:
Thanks, it’s good to know that the sweet lasts longer than the dry.  By the way, I thought my bottles of Cinzano and Martini were 750 mL but are in fact 1L just like the Carpano.  For some reason, my local Liquor stores carry the half litre bottles of Martini dry but not the half litre bottles of sweet vermouth.  However, if the sweet lasts longer than the dry, I can live with it.

cheers,

Greg

Jamie Boudreau 1 Dec 2010
5:17 pm

Greg:
Vacu seal will not change the flavour of vermouth

Greg Patenaude 1 Dec 2010
5:30 pm

Jamie:
Sweet!  I’ll look into buying a vacu seal.

Bottoms up!

Greg

charlie 2 Dec 2010
7:45 am

Oops, it’s PST. I guess that shows my East Coast bias. I suppose if the bars still close at 2am in Seattle, 11am is still pretty early!

BTW, no matter what size, I can’t make a bottle of sweet vermouth last more that a couple of weeks. Heh-heh…. I just love a good Manhattan.

ryan s 10 Dec 2010
7:31 am

I was wondering if you could freeze aliquots of vermouth as a way of storing them longer?  Generally I’ve heard of freezing juice or herbs to good effect, but I wonder if the freezing and thawing might negatively affect the flavors and aromas?

Jamie Boudreau 11 Dec 2010
9:14 am

Ryan:
I would say probably not. Wine is a living thing, and freezing it would kill it. I think a better solution would be to drink more often! ;-)

Benjamin D. 12 Dec 2010
4:00 pm

I love the balance of these drinks. It really reminds me of a sweet vermouth version of Robert Hess’ Black Feather Cocktail. I’m tasting one now made with bourbon, red vermouth, kahlua and angostura bitters (just what I had in my liquor cabinet) and it tastes spot on. The vermouth doesn’t over power the drink and despite the amount, it doesn’t seem nearly as pronounced as it is in a manhattan. It just fills in the gaps, adding that sweetness in a subtle way. Great! Thanks for all your cool tricks Jamie!

mdoudoroff 14 Dec 2010
10:31 am

Great episode, Jamie!

MrDelirious 17 Dec 2010
9:49 pm

For what it’s worth, I find this trick works really well with vodka, of all things. Showcases the other two ingredients in a way you might not otherwise be able to appreciate.

IanRafferty 3 Feb 2011
1:51 am

Definately interesting.  I know what Ill be doing at work tonight!!!

zach 10 Mar 2011
7:12 am

Great insight on the ratio Jamie, will definitely be giving that a shot.  I’ve never actually tasted/used Punt e Mes, but have heard that it has a bit of a differentiated profile relative to your typical sweet vermouth.  What is your take on how it compares to something like Vya or even a Noilly or M&R?  Thanks

Jamie Boudreau 10 Mar 2011
11:21 am

Zach:
Punt e Mes is an entirely different beast from all other vermouths. You need to get yourself a bottle: it’s quite cheap.

Federico Cuco 31 Jul 2012
7:04 am

Very good episode, what you call the golden ratio, the old bartenders here in South America they call it the classic balance.

I always learn a lot by watching your videos sir.

Best regards from the Rio de la Plata

Hugh 2 Sep 2012
8:12 pm

I’m a little late to this party, but the solution I came up with for oxidized vermouth is to buy a bottle capper and 187 ml champagne bottles.  Open it, re-bottle in ~6 ounce portions, and keep refrigerated pretty much indefinitely.

harrydosanj 28 Mar 2013
11:52 pm

does anyone know how to make say a spiced dram? or a spiced liqueur of some sort. i really like spices like cinnamon and cardamom in my drink but dont want to always pesto them each time

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