Most cocktail fans are aware of just two styles of vermouth: the dry white, generally made in France, and the sweet red, more closely associated with Italy.
But these two styles don’t encompass all the great vermouth styles on the market today, including blanc vermouth — which is pale in hue, but sweeter, bigger, and more floral than dry vermouth.
And for that reason, it’s killer in cocktails. Whereas sweet vermouth can overwhelm light spirits, blanc vermouths are a bit more delicate, yet contribute a bright sweetness that dry vermouth can’t. We’re fans of Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry Blanc, as are bartenders all over the country. Pick up a bottle and give these three drinks a try.
Blanc vermouth can integrate extremely well with most spirits, while the fact that it’s low in alcohol — at 16 percent, just a touch boozier than most wines — can open up and even out strong flavors. This drink starts with the elements of a margarita, but ends up a little brighter and lighter.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2 ounces of silver tequila, 1/2 an ounce of Dolin Blanc, 1/2 an ounce of fresh lime juice, and 1/2 an ounce of agave syrup (agave dissolved in an equal part of hot water). Add a dash of orange bitters. Shake all that up and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a few lime wheels.
Intermediate: Rye-Vermouth Sour
In another instance of how blanc vermouth can make a cocktail lighter and easier-drinkin’, we’re taking a sour — rye, lemon, and simple syrup — and adding a healthy dose of vermouth. The result is bright and dynamic and goes down easy, so exercise caution.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 ounce of rye, 1 1/4 ounces of Dolin Blanc, 1/2 an ounce of lemon, and a 1/4 ounce of simple syrup. Add a dash of Angostura bitters. Shake that all up until well-combined, then strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a thin lemon wheel.
Advanced: Vermouth, Gin, and Orange
Imagine a mimosa transformed into a proper cocktail — not just sweet OJ and sweet bubbles. That’s what you get here, with London Dry gin balanced out by vermouth, plus fresh orange and plenty of bubbles to top.
Instructions: In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle 1/2 a medium-sized Valencia juicing orange. Add 1 ounce of gin, 1 ounce of Dolin Blanc, and a 1/4 ounce of honey syrup (honey dissolved in an equal part of hot water). Shake that all up and then dump, ice and all, into a big wine glass. Garnish with 2 ounces of sparkling wine.