What is vermouth?

by Bolney Wine Estate Limited July 20, 2020

What is vermouth?

Here at Bolney, we love vermouth! But something we get asked a lot is what vermouth actually is, and how it should be drunk.

Vermouth is a fortified wine flavoured with botanicals. It traditionally comes in two varieties; dry white vermouth and sweet red (rosso) vermouth. Dry vermouth is famously used to make Martinis, whilst sweet vermouth, like ours, is used in cocktails such as Manhattans and Negronis - so you've probably tried vermouth before if you're partial to a cocktail or two.

We're always looking to try something new at Bolney, and coupled with our passion for fine wine and spirits, we thought a vermouth would be the perfect accompaniment to our range. Bolney Rosso Vermouth is made in our English winery at our estate and was unique in being the very first Sussex Rosso Vermouth. Many years ago, we were the earliest vineyard in the UK to produce a commercially made English Pinot Noir, so we felt perfectly positioned to use that experience to create a quality Rosso Vermouth.

At Bolney we have an abundance of sloes and elderberries growing in our hedgerows each year and those that were not eaten by birds sadly went to waste. So we were thrilled to find a way to use them in a Bolney product.

Developed by our product development wine maker, Alex Rabagliati, our vermouth has rich, delicious hedgerow fruit flavours with floral herb, eucalyptus notes and the classic aroma of wormwood. So it tastes like a slightly sweet, rich red wine with subtle herbal and spicy tones.

We are delighted that our vermouth has also been recognised in the industry. Earlier this year, we were awarded a silver medal for our vermouth at the World Vermouth Awards. The judges described the taste as 'Blackcurrant wine on the nose; also notes of brown sugar, baking spices, and dried fruit. Herbal with warm woody flavours, and the unmistakable presence of rosemary and thyme which gives it a savoury edge'. We were also recently featured in The Independent's esteemed guide to 'The best summer aperitifs to drink now'.

Rosso vermouth originated in Italy, and whilst many of us won't be able to head there for our holidays this year, there's nothing to stop us bringing a touch of Italy here! Have a look below to find out more about the best ways to enjoy our Rosso Vermouth.

How to enjoy vermouth

Vermouth is a very versatile drink and can therefore be enjoyed in a variety of ways. We asked the Bolney team their favourite ways to enjoy our Rosso Vermouth, and here's what they said.

In a cocktail - Isla finds vermouth is the perfect base for a cocktail. We have lots of recipes for you to try at home, from sweet to savoury and everything in between. Isla's favourite is the fruity Sussex Spritz.

Explore vermouth cocktail recipes

On it's own - For Robin, the flavours in our Bolney Rosso Vermouth are the perfect balance of sweet and savoury, so his favourite way to enjoy the mix of rich fruits and floral herbs is on it's poured over ice.

Try Bolney Rosso Vermouth

With tonic - After taste testing our vermouth with a variety of Fever Tree Tonics when we launched it, Ali finds their Indian Tonic Water is the perfect pairing with our richly flavoured vermouth for a refreshing drink. 

See our perfect serves

Bolney Wine Estate Limited
Bolney Wine Estate Limited


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