Beyond Martinis

“In eastern Europe and more specifically Russia, Martini is the category. It is an aspirational brand regarded as a true, international icon of quintessential Italian-ness and style.”

For Noilly Prat, France is by far its biggest market, at about 30%. “The Original Dry resonates among many generations of epicureans,” Miazga says. “Then outside Europe (Germany and the UK are also very important markets there) the US and Japan are leading the export.”

Italy is Riserva Carlo Alberto’s biggest market in terms of volume – “of course,” Torretta says.

The company plans to launch Vermouth Riserva Carlo Alberto in some American states later this year. “That one can be a huge market for us,” he says. “We always love to do things well. We will start the distribution in a few markets, working on a good positioning of the products, on the brand awareness and only after that can we look to expand the distribution in more states.”

“The US has a long-established relationship with vermouth, both as an ingredient in cocktails, and more recently as something to be sipped on its own as well. The UK is also a strong contender as people really understand Cocchi and vermouth as a whole there,” Cocchi’s Bava says.

London bar Tozi has its own menu dedicated to vermouth. Senior restaurant & bar manager Stefano Meloni says: “Vermouth is set to be the drink of the summer in 2016. With its bitter taste and low alcohol content, it’s the perfect base for a refreshing long drink when the weather is warm.

“Complementing a variety of dishes, it’s the perfect evolution from last years’ revival of the Aperol spritz and Negroni trend.”


In terms of future trends, Ford predicts there will continue to be a move towards novel and unique flavour profiles. He says: “Many of the most successful new brands of vermouth on the market today are successful because of how different they taste to what was the prototype flavour profile.”

His Atsby vermouth uses unusual spices such as nigella seeds, damiana, and shiitake mushrooms. “Hammer & Tongs vermouth uses flavours prominent during biblical times, such as myrrh and turmeric and Uncouth Vermouth is making seasonal varieties based on butternut squash and rhubarb,” Ford says.

The main consumers of these new vermouths, Ford says, “tend to be younger people who place a premium on knowing and caring about where their food and beverages come from, are generally averse to old, big-brand names that are known for just producing industrial products”.

Riserva Carlo Alberto’s Torretta says the future of the category is in his and his counterparts’ hands. “Today is the vermouth momentum – everyone is talking about vermouth, everyone wants to know more about vermouth. But to make the ‘vermouth momentum’ durable we have to transmit the concept that vermouth can be consumed by itself, before lunch, as an aperitif, or after lunch, as digestive.”

Ford adds: “I see the category continuing to expand and grow. I think vermouth will be as big as whisky is now in five years.”

It’s a bold claim, but vermouth appears to be the drink of the moment and ticks a lot of boxes.

Whether it is sipped or stirred,

vermouth is currently experiencing a resurgence and with big-money backing and new entrants, this low-abv versatile drink is tipped to reach new highs.

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