By Warren Bobrow
What? Hair tonic? Yes, historically speaking, you would apply some vermouth to your scalp if you have problems with your hair. Vermouth is a noun derived from the German word wermut, or wormwood. Medicinal herbs, one of which is wormwood, are contained in vermouth. Wormwood is known to help rid your hair from head lice. Wormwood was also used as a cure for stomach worms. Worms? Where are these worms? Are there worms in my belly? Wormwood?
Vermouth is underrated. People compete to see how little of it they can put in a martini. And only old ladies drink the stuff by itself, right? Wrong. Take a few sips of cold, quality vermouth, and it’s easy to see why these underappreciated fortified wines infused with aromatics make a great kick-off to cocktail hour.
By Byron Smith
December 12, 2013
The New York Times
EVEN if love were not part of the name, I would fall for Amor y Amargo in the East Village.
It’s small, with seating for a dozen or so customers in what was once a sandwich shop. The music’s good: “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys, “You Really Got Me” by the Kinks. And it has as its guiding spirit the bartender and bitters proselytizer Sother Teague.
By Amy Zavatto
December 12, 2013
You couldn’t be blamed for thinking vermouth is made only by Martini & Rossi and sequestered to chorus-girl status as the swirl in a Manhattan or a martini.Read More
By Deena Shanker
December 2, 2013
The Village Voice
As a middle child, I tend to be particularly sensitive to the overlooked, the ignored, and the forgotten. With this in mind, I will cook with fennel when I’d prefer zucchini, shop at Marshall’s when T.J. Maxx is around the corner, and most recently, jump at the opportunity to try out a new vermouth. Vermouth is often thought of as just an ingredient in a martini or Manhattan — but Adam Ford Atsby Vermouth has set out to show that vermouth is, like us middle children, so much more interesting when considered alone.
December 1, 2013
Over the 227-year course of its modern history, vermouth has been a medicinal tonic, a way to salvage “off” wine, and a crucial component of the martini and the Manhattan. And in some parts of the world, it’s still a popular aperitif: in Italy, where the aromatized fortified wine in its sweet red iteration was first formulated; France, which later countered with a “dry” style; and Spain, where Albert Adrià recently opened Bodega 1900, one of Barcelona’s new wave of trendy vermuterías. In this country, though, the sweet and bitter stuff has mostly been a punch line—especially among martini drinkers for whom dryness has become a virtue, if not a religion. (And who can forget Bill Murray’s palpable disgust at having to swig a glass, ad nauseum, to win Andie MacDowell’s affections in Groundhog Day?) But the tide might be turning.
By Jack Bettridge
October 15, 2013
The Wine Spectator
Not so long ago, the otherwise savvy cocktail connoisseur put less than a thimbleful of thought into vermouth brands. After all, the choices were few and the standard proportions-such as in a desert-dry Martini-were sparing. Even the choice of garnish may have posed a greater concern.
But an explosion in the vermouth category has made it necessary for mixologists to take a closer look at the spirit.
September 5, 2013
You probably have a bottle of vermouth—the classic Italian fortified wine—sitting in the liquor cabinet. It’s probably a bottle of Martini & Rossi that you bought a few years ago when you took a fit to make martinis at home. Take 150ish’s word for it, if you open that bottle now and pour it over ice, you’ll be faced with a stale, bitter brew. Thankfully, the local food movement has had its influence on the spirits world and we can now enjoy a full complement of top-shelf liquor, aperitifs, sodas, and even bitters—all made right nearby. Atsby vermouth, available in two varieties, is a revelation of local flavors.
By Lenn Thompson
Empire State Cellars, a retail store on Long Island, sells only New York–made beer, wine and spirits. It’s a “drink local” guy’s dream. But it can also be overwhelming, with the state now home to 320 wineries and more than 100 breweries. The wall of New York spirits is the store’s real surprise: I am flabbergasted by just how many small, truly artisanal producers there are. Dozens, from every agricultural region plus New York City. And you quickly run out of fingers trying to count the ones less than five years old.
By Eve Turow
August 12, 2013
The Village Voice
A few weeks ago, we put up a list of the top 10 breweries in NYC(-ish). But beers are not the only alcohol brewing in New York. The distilling world is also on the rise after a shift in New York distilling laws in 2002 when the passage of a law allowing farm distillery licenses helped begin to restore New York’s once vibrant distilling culture. From whiskey to grappa to regional specialties like sorel hibiscus liqueur, New York-produced spirits are becoming ever more diverse and refined.