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Dec 10, 2007 10:10 AM

Need help buying the best bottle of vermouth for a holiday gift.

I did some searching on the board and came up with these.

Carpano Antica.
Carpano’s Punt e Mes
G&D (Gambarelli and Devito) from California.
J. Boissiere from France
Martini and Rossi
Noilly Prat

General web search turned up a few others.Anyone tried King Eider Dry Vermouth?

How about St. Raphael red & white? What about Stock Vermouth?

I will NOT be answering questions about how this is used because I don’t want the discussion to get off topic on whether or not vermouth should be used for this or that. What is your favorite vermouth and how do you use it? That will be most helpful to us.

This query is for a good friend who needs to select vermouth for a gift … price isn’t important. We just want to hear what you think is best and why. Thanks so much.

In the first link is some of the detailed info I’ve culled mainly from Chowhound.

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  1. Here’s what I found on Chowhound / Chow … and a few web links

    The Vermouth Challenge

    There is one American vermouth made today (50 years ago there were many more), and it is a favorite among top bartenders. It’s called Vya—made in both sweet and dry—and is produced by the Quady Winery near Fresno, California. Made in small quantities, the vermouth is gentle and harmonious and excludes very bitter or astringent botanicals.

    Carpano Antica. Smoother, complexly aromatic, and perfectly off-dry, this vermouth has only become available in the States in the last couple of years. Regarded as the ancient formula of Carpano (the Italian house that also produces the more robust vermouth Punt e Mes), it doesn’t just melt into the drink, but gives it an amazing lift.

    One of the more supreme tasting Vermouths = "Boussier" Sweet and Dry "French and Fine".

    Some Great Sippin' Vermouths

    warrenr insists that the best sweet vermouth on Earth is Carpano Antica Formula. It’s almost too good to mix.

    And darren72 recommends Carpano’s Punt e Mes, which is also excellent on the rocks.

    Great vermouth

    Martinis, which Vermouth?

    For vermouth look for Carpano Punt e Mes or Quady Vya Extra Dry, both noted for being good vermouths.

    My first choice is Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth, which is amber in color, and adds a richness to a Martini unlike anything I've every had. Second would be Noilly Prat.

    J. Boissiere from France and a lot of real old timers swear byG&D (Gambarelli and Devito) from California.


    I recently bought a bottle of Vya vermouth (the sweet version). It is made by Andrew Quady (California) and is about $17. Delicious; so far I have only drunk it straight (as an aperitif). He also makes a dry vermouth.

    Not Chowhound but this site has descriptions of

    Boissiere Vermouth (Dry and sweet)
    Cinzano (Bianco, Dry, Sweet)
    Martini & Rossi (Bianco, sweet and dry)
    Noilly Prat (Dry and Sweet)
    Tribuno (Dry and sweet)
    Vya (Dry and Sweet)

    This mentions –

    Cinzano Extra Dry, about $7 a bottle.
    Noilly Prat Original French Dry, about $6 a bottle
    King Eider California Premium Dry Vermouth, about $18 a bottle.
    Cinzano Rosso Original, about $7 a bottle.
    Noilly Prat Original French Sweet, about $6 a bottle.
    Martini & Rossi Rosso, about $7 a bottle.
    Stock Vermouth Rosso, about $6 a bottle.

    Blogger who had a tasting of Vva, King Elder and Noilly Prat ... seems like King Elder may be no more ...

    Seemed like a good general article on vermouth which talks about Vva

    Just a gratuious links for my own info

    How to make your own vermouth

    2 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      The problem is, HOW it's going to be used determines WHICH vermouth is selected . . .

      For instance, I drink Carpano Antica Formula straight, and also in a "Venetian Martini" (gin, Antica Formula, and an orange peel). But I would NEVER choose this vermouth is I were going to make a classic [dry] martini -- then it would be Noilly Prat -- perhaps Martini & Rossi (dry, not Bianco).

      Punt e Mes is best (IMHO) straight.

      So, too, Vya (both the red and white are quite good); this is perhaps the most "versatile," in that yo ucan drink them straight or in cocktails. Usually, the more flavorful the vermouth, the more I find it interferes (rather than compliments) the main distillate.

      There's no real excuse for Tribuno.

      1. re: zin1953

        This might involve more than one gift for different purposes and people. So what people enjoy and how they enjoy it in every category is helpful. Thanks for the great reply.

    2. I wouldn't give Martini & Rossi as a gift. However i would be thrilled to find a bottle of Vya in my stocking. Two bottles, actually, sweet and dry. Are you listening, Santa?!

      1. For dry Vermouth, Dolin is my favorite. Super apertif on the rocks

        1. Lots of vermouth recommendations on the SPIRITS board.
          Here you go:

          1 Reply
          1. re: maria lorraine

            Thanks. The one's relevant to this discussion are in my first reply to this link.

            My friend tried searching the wine board which technically is what vermouth is. I searched the entire site because old reports were on the General Board. That turned up some blog references and a few confused posts on the Spirits board because it really isn't.

            The other stuff wasn't about the best vermouth to buy but rather how to store it, using it in recipes, martinis, etc.