Three things we learnt during Vermouth Day 2021
by Julian Davies
Last week (the 21st March) was the inaugural International Vermouth Day...
It was a concept created primarily by the guys behind Mancino Vermouth and was a few days to celebrate this amazing product and category. My reflections from it were as follows:
1. Vermouth is well and truly back on the map
Whilst the traditional brands like Noilly Prat and Martini have kept the category trickling over, brands like Sacred (UK) and Regal Rogue (Aus/UK) have been making a little more noise, and drumming up more interest in the category. Now, as evidenced by some of the lovely brands on Love Gin and Rex's Instagram lives, there's some really cool independent producers on the scene and this year is going to be a huge one for vermouth! Remember, you heard it here first!
2. The UK is where it's at!
Some of the really interesting brands coming out at the moment are from these shores! It sounds surprising, and my Italian and French friends are almost literally shaking their fists at it - but the UK is where some truly staggering vermouths are being made right now. Whether it's the improvements in the wine, the love and knowledge of botanicals (thanks, gin), the general love for better provenance seen in food etc... There's all kinds of reasons. But the UK is definitely where it's at for vermouth at the moment.
3. 2021 will be the year of vermouth.
In the UK there's a certain amount of "gin fatigue" going on: no real innovation, a race to the bottom in terms of quality from the big boys (please - stop adding colourful cr*p to your gins and passing that off as innovation!), and people getting a little bored. Vermouth, truly, drives a coach and horses through all that. Surprisingly versatile, used in multiple cocktails, drank on its own, reached for instead of a bottle of wine, lower ABV than gin, rum etc. There's so many reasons to reach for a vermouth. In addition, with most of us sitting around outside in our small little groups, with a warm summer and a decent patio vermouth is the natural choice. Exciting times!