Got Vermouth? Wildhawk, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, knows what it takes to produce seriously tasty cocktails using this sweet aperitif.
So what exactly is Vermouth, you ask? Vermouth is fortified wine flavored with various botanicals to add color and flavor. A few key ingredients you may taste include chamomile, coriander, juniper, gentian, saffron and wormwood. Traditionally white wine is used as the base to produce a dry liquor native to France. The Italians are known for sweet vermouth, made with red wine.
More of a potion than a drink, vermouth was originally used as a medicinal tonic because of the spices and botanicals. Today, it is an awesome tool for any barman and with the right compliments can become your quintessential summer sidekick. While it has a longer shelf life than wine, it will start to oxidize after a month, so it is best to store your favorite bottle in the fridge.
How do I enjoy Vermouth?
Vermouth is diverse, delicious served neat or chilled, or as the ultimate summer cocktail base. Find one you like, add a splash of soda and enjoy with a twist of citrus.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can tackle the vermouth cocktail. Wildhawk favorite, Hip Hops, incorporates grapefruit, pineapple and hops for a refreshing summer libation. Check out the recipe below and make it yourself at home!
2 ¼ oz Martini Ambrato
½ oz Grapefruit
½ oz Pineapple Gum
¼ oz Hops Tincture
Shake / D/Strain / Tall Sours
Garnish: Grapefruit Spiral
Can’t get enough vermouth? Visit Wildhawk in San Francisco and try their full menu of vermouth-based cocktails.
At Wildhawk, vermouth is taken very seriously and veteran Bartender Jacques Bezuidenhout knows what he’s talking about when it comes to this underrated spirit:
“There are so many wonderful vermouths that are still undiscovered by many people, or are limited to consuming in Manhattans or Negronis. While classics are always loveable, sipping vermouth as a standalone drink is widely underrated. This is why we’ve implemented our vermouth program at Wildhawk – to give guests the opportunity to explore and learn more about the different styles of rosso, bianco and ambre. Vermouths are complex and chock full of aromas – chamomile, coriander, juniper, gentian, saffron and wormwood, to name a few. It’s great to play around with the different styles when developing cocktails! We feature an array of vermouths to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks and a curated selection of cocktails that are vermouth-forward. It’s also an aromatized and fortified wine, which means it’s low in alcohol content so guests can easily throw a couple back!” – Jacques Bezuidenhout, partner, Wildhawk & Forgery in San Francisco
For more tips on how to drink and mix vermouth, check out his handy User’s Guide on Star Chefs!