Vermouth Moves to the Top Shelf

The small group of producers behind America's recent vermouth revival pays very close attention to ingredients.

And the small group of producers behind America’s recent vermouth revival pays very close attention to ingredients. A wide range of botanicals (often organic, occasionally foraged) go into a high-quality base wine. These new-wave vermouths are not only tasty enough to swim with your gin, they’re distinctive enough to stand on their own. Here are four of our favorites for summer sipping

(from left): Jardesca, the most delicate of the quaffable quartet, is billed as a “California Aperitiva,” which tells you that all you need to do is pour it and enjoy. When you do, you’ll find floral and minty aromas, apricot notes, and a bright, spicy finish. Ransom Dry Vermouth is the most reminiscent of European classics. Its rich, ripe-fruit nose is nicely balanced by citrus, and wormwood comes through on the finish. Atsby Armadillo Cake Reserve contains neither armadillo nor cake, but it does have a whopping 32 botanicals, and it’s sweetened with dark caramel made from muscovado sugar. The result is a magnificently subtle combination of herbs and Indian-food spices. Uncouth Vermouth Hops pairs perfectly with food, in part because of the high-acidity wine at its base. The botanicals vary by batch, but many are foraged and all are thoughtfully sourced.

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