Rosé Vermouth

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Vermouth is easier to make than one might think: It doesn’t require special equipment or impossible-to-find ingredients (Amazon sells wormwood and gentian). Slideshow:  More Cocktail Recipes 

Rosé Vermouth
Photo: © David Malosh
Total Time:
50 mins
Yield:
3 quarts

Ingredients

  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced

  • 2 1/4 cups unaged (clear) brandy, preferably French

  • 2 3/4 cups sugar

  • 4 small rosemary leaves

  • 7 small sage leaves

  • 2 teaspoons oregano leaves

  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves

  • 1 tablespoon bitter orange peel

  • 2 teaspoons wormwood root

  • 1/2 teaspoon gentian root

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  • One 1 1/2-inch piece of vanilla bean

  • Three 750-ml bottles (9 1/2 cups) rosé, preferably Spanish Garnacha

  • 1 cup ruby port

  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Directions

  1. In a glass jar or pitcher, cover the sliced strawberries with the brandy and let macerate for 2 days at room temperature; the strawberries should be completely submerged.

  2. Strain the infused brandy through a cheesecloth-lined sieve; discard the strawberries.

  3. In a large nonreactive saucepan, combine the sugar with 1/4 cup of water and cook over moderately low heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and a medium-amber caramel forms, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the strawberry-infused brandy; the caramel will harden. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the caramel is dissolved. Remove from the heat.

  4. In a nonreactive medium saucepan, combine the rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, bitter orange peel, wormwood, gentian, ginger, vanilla bean and 3 cups of the rosé. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in the port.

  5. Add the infused port and the remaining 61/2 cups of rosé to the strawberry-brandy caramel syrup. Stir in the orange zest and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

  6. Strain the vermouth through a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Pour into bottles and refrigerate. Serve the vermouth as an aperitif or over ice, or use it in a cocktail.

Make Ahead

The vermouth can be refrigerated for 4 months.

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