Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Building blocks, Martini Dept.

About four years ago, Noilly Prat began selling its European version vermouth in these here United States.

There were howls and imprecations.

Me, being the press-on-regardless type, merely adjusted and kept going.

The new-to-us vermouth is citrusier and a shade sweeter, so I just adjust my 5:1 martini ratio to 6:1 to compensate, so if that's what you have, now you know how to work it. Be advised the ensuing Martini won't be pellucidly clear.

The one thing to remember about vermouths is that they are wine. As such, they will spoil at a far quicker rate than spirits. I buy vermouths (for sweet, my choice is Martini & Rossi) in the teeniest possible bottle, and I use a Vac-U-Vin vacuum stopper system and then stash them in the fridge. Buying a giant bottle, unless you make a lot of fish fumet, is very false economy.

Anyway.

Noilly Prat.

The better version you want, for Martini purposes, is the "Extra Dry." You won't be far wrong with the "Original Dry" so you do whatever you want.

The "Extra Dry" is clean, with subtle woodsy notes, with hints of juniper (!) and bay leaves and other woody herbs. Its light, crisp finish make it a terrific aperitif choice (as well as a good choice for cooking seafood) and, best of all, it's a steal.

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