Summer has begun, the golden season of aperitifs on the terrace, at the beach bar or under the shade of a good grapevine. And the king of aperitifs is, without a doubt, vermouth. Vermouth, Vermut, Vermú or Wermut, because this drink of Mediterranean origin is universal, it is enjoyed all over the world. Even better if you choose a non alcoholic vermouth: not only because of the benefits of drinking alcohol-free drinks, but also because The Blue Dolphin Store‘s non-alcoholic aperitifs are refreshing and delicious. Vermouth is a flavoured wine, ranging in colour from dark red to off-white. Its flavour varies from sweet to dry, almost spicy and bitter. The ones we present here are all non-alcoholic vermouths.
It seems that the inventor of vermouth was Hippocrates, a famous ancient Greek physician and philosopher, who in the 5th century B.C. macerated wormwood flowers and díctamo leaves in wine to make a remedy for stomach ache.
The remedy worked and lasted for centuries, being called ‘Hippocratic wine’ or ‘herbal wine’ in the Middle Ages. In the course of time, the concoction managed to escape from medicine to become an aperitif. Antonio Benedetto Carpano, a Turinese oenologist of the 18th century, contributed to this. In search of a drink more suited to the female palate, he turned to Hippocrates. He blended white wine, Piedmont muscatel and an infusion of more than thirty herbs and spices to create what is known as modern vermouth.
He discovered that, as well as tasting good, it also whetted the appetite: this is how vermouth started to be drunk at times of relaxation and leisure, before a meal, to prepare the stomach.
Where does the term “vermouth” come from?
The word “vermouth” is of German origin (wermut) and means “wormwood”. It is the term Carpano chose for his new creation: he used the Germanic term because it was more sophisticated and aristocratic than the Italian “vino di assenzio”. Also because the Turinese was a great admirer of Goëthe and this was his humble way of paying homage to the great German author.
Martini: aperitifs and vermouths since 1863
In 1863, Alessandro Martini, Luigi Rossi (oenologist) and Teofilo Sola (accountant) decided to transform a small winery in San Salvatore di Monferrato and give it a new lease of life with the drink of the moment, vermouth. This is how Martini, Rossi & Sola was born in 1863, according to Toni Castillo in Bon Viveur. Martini continues to this day and has non-alcoholic products, including two of our favourites:
A alcohol-free white vermouth with the recognisable aromatic flavour of Martini Bianco. It is a drink with botanical notes and a predominance of Roman camomile.
With this alcohol-free vermouth you can create perfect aperitifs either on its own or mixed with tonic and adding lemon, cucumber or mint. For an elegant and sophisticated drink, add Tanqueray 0.0 or another premium non-alcoholic dry gin to create the classic Dry Martini cocktail without the alcohol.
An alcohol-free red vermouth with the recognisable aromatic flavour of Martini and is a drink with botanical notes and a predominance of Italian bergamot. As well as making a delicious non-alcoholic Negroni, if you mix it with a siphon and add a slice of lemon, you’ll have the quintessential Mediterranean aperitif. Accompany it with some cockles and you have the best moment of the summer within your reach.
Men (and women) don’t live by alcohol-free Martini alone!
At The Blue Dolphin Store we have all kinds of aperitifs and vermouths to welcome the summer in style. As well as Versin, a non-alcoholic red vermouth in the Tarragona style, we have Lyre’s Vermouth Rosso and Lyre’s Dry Vermouth, an exceptional non-alcoholic red and white vermouth.
There are other aperitifs, for when the heat is on: Amàrico, a creamy alcohol free vermouth-like aperitif with citrus notes of bitter orange and lemon; Conviv Bianco and Conviv Rosso, non-alcoholic aperitifs made from grapes, refreshing and very light.
If you’re a Campari fan, try Lyre’s Italian Orange this summer, a citrusy alcohol-free aperitif with hints of blood orange and red grapefruit.
All you need to do now is stick your umbrella in and enjoy the delights of an alcohol-free summer with all the flavour and all the fun.