World Vermouth Day: From Medicinal Tonic to Cocktail Staple
Hong Kong/ Delish/ Happenings

World Vermouth Day 2023: The Unsung Hero of Cocktail Culture

Classic manhattan cocktail in a nick and nora glas 2022 10 25 21 50 11 utc

As another World Vermouth Day dawns, it's time to appreciate the history and cultural impact this iconic fortified wine has had on the drinks industry since its inception. Vermouth, made up of botanicals, herbs, and spices infused in wine, has long been a staple in cocktail culture. Let's take a brief look at the history of vermouth and some examples of vermouth cocktails that have made their mark on history.

A Brief History of Vermouth

The origin of vermouth can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome, where the practice of infusing wine with herbs and spices was common. The name "vermouth" itself is derived from the German word Wermut, which means “wormwood” - a key ingredient in the mix. It wasn't until the 18th century that the modern-style, aromatised wine that was recognisable as vermouth was born in Italy's Piedmont region.

Soon, this aromatic wine found its way across the Atlantic, and by the 19th century, it was being incorporated into popular cocktails like the Manhattan, Martini, and Negroni. Today, vermouth remains a mainstay in the cocktail world, with many bartenders experimenting and innovating with new combinations and flavours.

Iconic Vermouth Cocktails

Here are some of the most famous vermouth cocktails that have stood the test of time:

Manhattan - A classic cocktail, made with vermouth, whisky, and bitters. The Manhattan cocktail is said to have been created in the late 1800s at the Manhattan Club in New York City, for a banquet hosted by Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Winston Churchill.

Martini - One of the most iconic cocktails of all time, consisting of gin or vodka, vermouth, and a garnish of choice (olives, anyone?). The Martini cocktail is said to have originated in the late 19th century and early 20th century in San Francisco.

Negroni - A popular Italian cocktail made with gin, vermouth, and Campari. The Negroni cocktail was invented in Florence in the early 20th century by Count Camillo Negroni.

Aperol Spritz - A bubbly, citrusy cocktail that typically consists of Prosecco, Aperol, and a splash of vermouth. The Aperol Spritz cocktail originated in Italy in the 1910s, where it was traditionally consumed as an aperitif before dinner.

Vieux Carre - A New Orleans classic, consisting of whisky, cognac, vermouth, Benedictine, and bitters. The Vieux Carre cocktail was invented in the early 20th century at the Hotel Monteleone

Celebrate with a Legendary Cocktail

Vermouth has certainly had a lasting impact on the cocktails and spirits world. So, why not celebrate World Vermouth Day by visiting some of Hong Kong’s finest vermouth-slinging establishments?

  • Bianco & Rosso: House of Vermouth *
    Location: 29 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong
    Contact Details:
    2813 1669
    *Offering free Vermouth Spritzes & discounted Vermouth flights on March 21st
  • The Dispensary
    Location: Block 01, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
    Contact Details:
    2848 3000
  • The Old Man
    Location: 37-39 Aberdeen Street, Soho, Central, Hong Kong
    Contact Details:
    2703 1899
  • Bella Lee
    Location: 37 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong
    Contact Details: 6708 7068
  • DarkSide at Rosewood Hotel
    Location: Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
    Contact Details:
    3891 8732

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