Skip to main content

Artisanal Vermouth: A Drink That Can Stand Alone

Thank the Italians. In the late 18th century, they were the first to create vermouth. The fortified wine was often drunk on its own but morphed into a key ingredient in many standard cocktails, from the Martini to the Manhattan to the Negroni. Although Europeans have long drunk vermouth on its own, Americans were late to the party. Thanks to today’s artisanal varieties, tipplers on this side of the Atlantic can enjoy the classic beverage the way nature intended.

The Manual has selected a few of our favorite artisanal vermouths from around the country and beyond.


Gaston, Oregon

Winemakers in the United States have gotten on the vermouth bandwagon in recent years. Not so Oregon-based Imbue. The company prides itself on being a vermouth company, not a winery that “dabbles in vermouth.” Imbue’s vermouths are a combination of white wine and Pinot Gris brandy and a number of botanicals including chamomile, cinnamon and elderflower.  The Petal & Thorn version is aromatic, with hints of orange peel and rose, giving it sweetness with a bit of a kick. Still too sweet? Try the brand’s Bittersweet Vermouth, which offers hints of pear, lemongrass and elderflower.


New York, New York

If F. Scott Fitzgerald were still alive, he’d probably prefer Atsby vermouth, or at the very least, have one of his characters in “The Great Gatsby” drink it. A New York–based brand launched by lawyer Adam Ford, Atsby pays homage to vermouths from the 1930s, the beverage’s heyday. Atsby has two varieties: Amberthorn and Armadillo Cake. The former is more akin to a sweet vermouth with hints of nettle, French lavender and basil. The latter is darker and richer with hints of nutmeg and other fall botanicals.



Although many stateside vermouths have nothing to do with their European counterparts, other vermouth makers trust Italian and French winemakers to give them a more traditional product. Enter Australia’s Maidenii. A collaboration between French winemaker Gilles Lapalus and Australian Shaun Byrne, Maidenii takes the best of the old and new worlds and fashions vermouth that looks and tastes European but has an Australian sensibility. A base of wormwood and wine, Maidenii crafts vermouth with 34 botanticals, 12 of which are native to Australia. You can taste hints of strawberry gum and wattleseed as well as river mint. The brand offers three varieties: classic, sweet and dry. Opt for the dry vermouth, which is made with locally-sourced viognier, yarrow and Japanese gentian. It’s great on its own or in a classic Martini.

Shandana A. Durrani
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Shandana A. Durrani has been a magazine editor and travel writer for more than two decades. Her work has appeared in numerous…
Our chimichurri recipe takes seconds to make, lasts for weeks in the fridge, and is great with everything
Seriously, this chimichurri recipe is just so darn easy!
Plated steak dish

If you've never had homemade chimichurri, you've been missing out on one of the brightest, tangiest, zippiest, most delicious sauces in the culinary kingdom. Perhaps even more significant than its exquisite flavor is the fact that it's tremendously simple and risk-free to prepare, making it a rare jewel in the sauce crown. With just a few simple ingredients thrown into a blender or food processor, this luxurious condiment comes out perfect every time. No need for temperature control or worries of breaking or curdling. This forgiving chimichurri sauce recipe is divinely idiot-proof and perfect on everything from a hearty grilled ribeye to delicately fresh and briny shellfish.

With the help of a good blender (we recommend Breville's Super Q Pro), this simple chimichurri sauce comes together in just seconds and will keep in your fridge for weeks, waiting to be poured on all of your favorite dishes.

Read more
5 incredible tequila recipes you’ve definitely never heard of
Have you ever heard of these tequila drinks and applications?
Corralejo Tequila Tropical being mixed with.

Tequila has always been an incredibly popular drink, especially when it's mixed into a variety of cocktails. Better still, the agave spirit is a lot more versatile than you might think. Sure, we've all heard of and even mixed up a few margaritas or some tasty Palomas. But what of lesser-known applications, like cocktails kissed with bittersweet amari or salsas for dipping?

With several distinctive styles, from blanco to reposado, tequila's uses are many. The lightest versions can perfectly accent an unbelievably refreshing batch of ranch water. Darker, aged versions can be used to cook with or join unexpected ingredients in your cocktail shaker. Want some proof? Check out some great, lesser-known tequila recipes below.

Read more
How to make hard cider (it’s not as complicated as you think)
Making your own hard cider is a surprisingly easy and an incredibly fun new skill to learn
Hard apple cider in a glass, surrounded by apples.

There's never a bad time to start drinking hard apple cider. Not only is it a wonderfully different, crisp, and refreshing adult beverage to enjoy, but making your own hard cider at home can be an incredibly fun hobby. If you're looking to try something new, consider learning how to make your own hard apple cider.

As much as we'd like to talk about beer, that's not what we're here for — not right now, at least. We're talking hard cider here, which is not only as tasty as beer, but it's also simpler to make in the confines of your home/apartment/Quonset hut. Read on and start brewing your own hard apple cider.

Read more