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Cocktails & Spirits

Why won't bars stock good vermouth?


Cocktails & Spirits 26

Why won't bars stock good vermouth?

alanbarnes | May 6, 2009 06:42 PM

I'm about ready to give up.

After years in the vermouth wilderness, I've discovered the difference a good vermouth can make in a cocktail - a Nick-and-Nora martini is transformed by Vya dry vermouth, and a Manhattan made with Carpano Antico is an order of magnitude better than one made with sweet vermouth from the well.

But go into a typical bar or restaurant, and although they keep the Knob Creek, Macallan, Grey Goose, and Bombay Sapphire close at hand, their vermouth selection (if there is one) is akin to Early Times, Scoresby, Cossack, and Seagram's.

Is it too much to expect a place that makes cocktails to stock something better than Cinzano or Noilly Prat? Something that costs more than $6 a bottle?

I guess it's good that I can't get a great Manhattan at most of the places I go. Making them at home saves a boatload of money, and my friends are impressed at how much better the drinks I make are than the ones they get in bars. But still, wouldn't it be nice if there were a bottle of Punt e Mes behind the bar occasionally?

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