Vermouth is an aromatized, fortified wine. “Aromatized” means that it is flavored with a variety of botanicals such as the roots, barks, flowers and seeds of plants, as well as herbs and spices. “Fortified” means that a distilled spirit (like brandy) is added to the wine. The blend of varieties in the base wine of vermouth depends on the producer and the region where it is produced. Traditionally, vermouth producers are looking for a neutral base wine meant to provide an ideal base for the botanical infusions. Think about how tea is infused into water, this is the same idea of the infusion of herbs in vermouth. Botanicals also make each vermouth creative and unique! In Vya Vermouths, we have both a unique blend of botanicals and proprietary base wines that make Vya different from any other vermouth. We blend in Quady Essensia, an orange muscat wine, as well as Quady Starboard Batch 88 (Vya Sweet), a port-style wine. This adds aroma, texture, viscosity and complexity to each Vya Vermouth. If you want to know more about our ingredients, check out the apothecary page on our website.
Even though vermouth is fortified with a distilled spirit, it is mostly wine, and is therefore considered a wine. It is made using a base of dry white wine that is infused with botanicals and fortified with a distilled spirit. Vermouth is higher in alcohol (16-22% ABV) than traditional table wine, but lower in alcohol than distilled spirits.
Vermouth is a versatile and important ingredient used in many traditional, modern and low-ABV cocktails; it can also be enjoyed straight or with a splash of club soda as an aperitif or digestif. Some of the most well-known cocktails that use vermouth are the Manhattan, the Martini, the Negroni, and the Americano.
There are many different styles of vermouth that have been developed in different parts of the world by different producers. At a basic level, focused on color and sweetness, you can find both sweet and dry white vermouth and you can find sweet (or bittersweet) red vermouth. Look closely at your cocktail recipe to make sure you are getting the right color and sweetness because it will greatly affect your cocktail. The main difference you will notice between sweet vermouth and dry vermouth is taste: sweet vermouth is sweet with elements of spice and bitterness (bittersweet), while dry vermouth is not sweet and tastes more herbal in character.
What is the difference between Vya Sweet Vermouth, Vya Extra Dry, and Vya Whisper Dry Vermouth?
In regards to Vya, the difference between Vya Sweet Vermouth and Vya dry vermouths are the botanicals and spices used in each, as well as the sweetness levels. Vya Extra Dry is not sweet, and has a cooler profile, meaning it has a cooling effect on the palate because it is infused with leaves and flowers, parts of the plants with cool energy. It is more herbaceous than Vya sweet vermouth, which in turn is spicier than Vya dry vermouth. Vya Sweet is infused with roots, barks and baking spices like cinnamon and clove, parts of plants with warming energy. The bitterness that comes from the roots like gentian and barks like cinchona is balanced with sweetness for a tasty cocktail component or aperitif that opens and warms the palate. Vya Sweet Vermouth’s base wines also differ from Vya Extra Dry’s in that Starboard Batch 88, a port-style wine, is also blended in for complexity and sweetness.
Vermouth can be enjoyed in cocktails or on its own as an aperitif. To serve sweet vermouth on its own, simply pour over ice and add a splash of club soda if you want it to be bubbly, then place an orange peel or olives in the drink for an interplay of sweet and salty. For dry vermouth, pour it over ice, add club soda if preferred, and place a lemon peel in the drink for a bright, herbal refreshment. Our favorite way to drink vermouth is to mix Vya Sweet Vermouth and Vya Extra Dry Vermouth (50/50) over ice – it’s the perfect blend of flavors and aromas!
Vermouth is incredibly versatile and can be mixed with a variety of spirits and cocktail ingredients. Vya Sweet Vermouth pairs especially well with whiskey and bourbon for an unparalleled Manhattan; or mix it with Campari and gin for a Negroni that’s too good to pass up. Try Vya Extra Dry with gin for a fresh and exciting martini, and Vya Whisper Dry with vodka for a smooth martini with fresh appeal. Vermouth can also be mixed with tequila, sparkling wine, citrus juices and so much more!
Yes! Vermouth can be enjoyed straight; this is one of the best ways to experience the unique mix of botanicals used to make vermouth! Pour Vya Sweet Vermouth on the rocks with a twist of orange or olives for “holiday baking in a cocktail glass,” or try Vya Extra Dry Vermouth on the rocks with a twist of lemon for a bright and herbaceous refreshment that’s like a “blooming spring meadow in crisp mountain air.” Our favorite way to enjoy vermouth straight is to mix equal parts sweet vermouth with dry vermouth over ice for the perfect blend of herbs and spices.
Dry vermouth is ideal in classic gin and vodka cocktails like the martini, as well as many modern cocktails. It can be enjoyed as an aperitif over ice for a refreshing pre-dinner beverage or mixed with citrus for a cocktail that’s bright and herbal. Add a splash of club soda or sparkling wine for a vermouth spritz bubbling with flavor.
Sweet vermouth is most popularly used in Manhattans (whiskey), Negronis (gin and Campari) and Americanos (Campari), but this versatile beverage can be found in a variety of today’s modern cocktails as well. Try Vya Sweet straight over ice with a twist of orange for a palate-opening aperitif full of warming citrus and spice. Splash in some tonic or club soda for a low-ABV spritz full of rich baking spice flavor.
Yes, vermouth should always be refrigerated after opening to minimize oxidation and lengthen the life of the vermouth. Vermouth is a fortified wine, not a spirit with high alcohol content that preserves it, and therefore is vulnerable to oxidation caused by the air around us. Oxidation causes a series of chemical reactions in wine/vermouth that essentially results in the deterioration of chemical compounds in the vermouth, particularly pleasurable flavors and aromas. Refrigeration helps delay this deterioration, keeping your Vya Vermouths fresh and enjoyable for a month or more. Just remember to seal them up and place them in the fridge after each use!
After opening vermouth, always seal it and store it in the refrigerator to preserve the flavors and aromas that can break down due to oxidation. Remember that vermouth is a fortified wine, not a spirit, so it is subject to the chemical reactions caused by our environment that deteriorate phenolic compounds – or chemical compounds in wine that contribute to aroma, flavor, color and feel of wine in the mouth. Refrigeration slows the oxidation process, keeping your Vya Vermouth flavors fresh and exciting for a month or longer.
All vermouths start with a base of dry white wine that is then infused with a series of botanicals for flavor, including barks, seeds, roots, leaves and flowers. It is mainly the botanicals that make vermouths interesting and unique! Vya Vermouths also contain proprietary Quady wines Essensia Orange Muscat, a dessert wine with orange-marmalade characteristics, and Starboard Batch 88 (Vya Sweet), a port-style wine with chocolate-raisin character. This adds unparalleled flavors, aromas, viscosity, texture and complexity to each Vya Vermouth.
In the U.S., many vermouths do not contain the ingredient wormwood, one of the original botanicals infused with wine to make medicinal tonics. In fact, the word “vermouth” is derived from the German “vermut,” meaning “wormwood.” Wormwood is a medicinal herb used in ancient times and thought at one time to be a cure-all for inflammation, indigestion, parasites, and even skin infections. It has an extremely bitter flavor and was infused in wine with added sugar to make it more palatable for patients to consume. European vermouths must contain trace amounts of wormwood to be considered vermouth, but this requirement is not the case in the U.S. It has been over a hundred years since vermouth was used medicinally. At Quady Winery, Vya creator Andrew Quady did not find that wormwood added anything beneficial to his vermouth and chose instead to use herbs that he found added more interesting and enticing characteristics.
Vya Sweet Vermouth is infused with roots, barks and seeds that all have warm energy and therefore a warming effect on the palate. Featuring baking spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bitter orange peel, Vya Sweet Vermouth tastes like holiday baking with bright notes of citrus that mix especially well with the warm baking spices. You’ll notice a balance of bitter (roots and barks) with sweet (caramel and port-style wine) in every sip.
Vya Extra Dry Vermouth is infused with leaves and flowers, parts of plants that have cool energy and therefore a cooling effect on the palate. Featuring herbs like alfalfa, elecampane, linden and lavender, Vya Extra Dry vermouth tastes fresh and herbaceous, like a blooming spring meadow in crisp mountain air. Vya Whisper Dry, made to be a more delicate, graceful version of Vya Extra Dry, is like a fine white wine with a little something extra, featuring hints of botanicals like balsam fir that adds a soft, forest-like character to the vermouth.
Unrefrigerated vermouth should be consumed within 48 hours for the freshest flavor experience. To preserve the life of your vermouth for a month or more, properly seal and refrigerate it after each use.
Yes, vermouth does contain alcohol, usually ranging from 16% to 22%. However, it is not a spirit like vodka or whiskey, but a fortified, aromatized wine. 75% of vermouth’s base is wine but because it is fortified, it does have a distilled spirit such as brandy added to it. This results in a higher alcohol content than traditional table wine, but lower than the alcohol content found in spirits.
The alcohol content in vermouth ranges from 16% to 22%. It is an aromatized, fortified wine, not a spirit.
Vya Sweet Vermouth makes a better Manhattan. Rye whiskies and bourbons have oaky flavor profiles that include vanilla, coconut and spices; the baking spices in Vya Sweet Vermouth like cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves uniquely complement the oak, spices and vanilla components of whiskey/bourbon. Use at least 1 oz. or more of Vya Sweet Vermouth in your Manhattan for a more flavorful, aromatic and complex Manhattan.
Vya Sweet Vermouth makes a better negroni. Campari – the key ingredient in a negroni – is considered a “bitters” and has an extremely bitter taste. Vya Sweet Vermouth has balanced levels of sweetness and bitterness and modifies the bitterness in Campari rather than adding to it, creating a harmonious interplay of bitter and sweet. Vya Sweet’s bitter orange and warm baking spices further round out the negroni with enticing citrus and spice aromas and flavors. Use Vya Sweet Vermouth in your negroni for a more flavorful and aromatic negroni.
Vya Extra Dry Vermouth makes a better gin martini. Vya Extra Dry is infused with cooling botanicals that marry magically with the juniper notes in gin. Its Orange Muscat and dry white wine base also harmonize and balance with gin for a smooth and easy-to-love martini with refreshing characteristics and an inviting, aromatic profile.
Vya Whisper Dry Vermouth makes a better vodka martini. Its subtle botanicals harmonize with, rather than overpower, a subtle spirit like vodka. Its white wine and Orange Muscat base is fresh and unoxidized, providing aroma, nuance and viscosity, while cool herbs like balsam fir add a soft forest-like character. With Vya Whisper Dry Vermouth, enjoy a fresh, ultra-smooth martini that is enticing to smell and savor.