Martini is a vermouth. You may or may not know this but whatever your vermouth education, we're here to tell you it’s making a comeback! So in true BarChick style we give the lowdown on exactly what it is, how to serve it and where to drink it.
4 things to know about vermouth
1. Essentially it’s a fortified wine but with a bunch of ‘erbs in it. Healthy and tasty, just how we like it!
2. Traditionally there are two types of vermouth; dry vermouth and sweet vermouth. The drier version has more herbal ingredients and less sugar than the sweet version.
3. The Greeks drank it as medicine, the Italians (in true Italian style) modernised it in the 18th Century drinking it as an aperitif, and the turn of the century saw bartenders mix it in cocktails.
4. It kicked off the classics like the Martini and the Manhattan. Basically Vermouth is where it’s at.
3 cocktails that use sweet vermouth
Manhattan – rye whisky, Martini Rosso, Maraschino Liqueur, Angostura bitters.
Negroni - gin, Campari and Martini Rosso.
Corpse Reviver – cognac, apple brandy and Martini Rosso.
3 cocktails that use dry vermouth
Dry Martini – gin, Martini Extra Dry and an olive.
Bamboo – dry vermouth, sherry, Angostura bitters and orange bitters.
Brooklyn – rye whisky, Martini Extra Dry, Amer Picon and Maraschino Liqueur.
Drink it in your cocktail, enjoy it as an aperitif… just make sure you do it in all the best bars below
Inside every great hotel is a great hotel bar (in BarChick’s book) and The Connaught is no exception. There’s a lot of marble, some damn fine décor and excellent drinks to match. The bartenders are some of the highest quality in London and this is most definitely reflected in the prices, so bring along your credit card/sugar muma/daddy and enjoy the ride.
Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL
This is a blow your mind kinda bar. They’ve won awards for being the best bar in the world, and their bartenders are not only talented but entertaining AND good-looking. It’s a total spoil and the perfect place to come if you want to get your vermouth on! Go for the Love & Death, it comes in a delicate coupe and is made of rye, verjus, Martini Vermouth, bitters and it tastes like Rome and Juliet in a glass.
1C Portland Place, London W1B 1JA
The Edition may have had its limelight and a bunch of celebs, but they maintain their quality of bar and especially in their speakeasy Punch Room at the back. Their speciality are punches (go figure) and even though you can order for one these bad boys are best ordered for a party of mates. We hit the Teddy Hook Punch, ask your waiter for the low down on the punk it was named after, made with Martini Gran Lusso, grappa, hibiscus tea, basil water and sugar. Tuck in!
10 Berners St, London, W1T 3NP
This hotel group do everyone a favour the world over, this is five star service and more. Their London hangout on Park Lane counts the Hard Rock Café as a neighbour and is one of BarChick’s favourite places to kick the night off with a Negroni. They make theirs with Martini Gran Lusso, a vermouth that was made to celebrate 150 years of Martini in 2013, and it tastes extra rich.
Hamilton Mews, London W1J 7DR
Not been yet? Who even are you? You’ll be pleased to know that the Firehouse is all you’ve heard about and more. They’ve transformed this 18th Century Victorian- Gothic firehouse into a mega hot hangout… the atmosphere works, the food by Nuno Mendhiez is spoiling and both bars are perfect for people perving. Hit the cocktails, they’re heavy on the vermouth and expertly made.
1 Chiltern Street, London W1U 7PA
Paving the cocktail way for a number of years now, this dreamy little Prohibition-esq bar off Old Street roundabout is just where you want to come for a little bit of vermouth in your life/mouth. Catch it when the swing dancers are there and be ready for some garnishes of your life. If you want our recommendation go for the Smokey Joe, made with Hennessy Fine de Cognac, lemon, Martini Gran Lusso, artichoke tea, balsamic grape jelly and bee pollen syrup. Yeah boy!
129 City Road, London, EC1V 1JB