A Vermouth Shirley

When I was in New York back in December, I was inundated with cocktails, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Although I am always down for a good beer and will gravitate towards a glass of wine, it isn’t something I necessarily want when I am out. The whole reason one pays for a drink, well if you aren’t just drinking for its own sake, is that someone who knows better is making your drink for you.

One night, my cousins Colette and Tess took me to a little Mediterean place in Soho. The food was by no means spectacular. But I appreciated their drink list. The offered all those forgotten Italian aperitifs. I convinced Tess to order the Vermouth with sparkling water– I was in a mood to try something I different– I had expected red Vermouth, which I first tried straight on my 21st birthday in Sicily. The bottle was cheap and horrible then, but it made it so much more memorable. I started drinking Martini and Rossi red vermouth while cooking a few years ago as an aperitif when I didn’t have any wine on hand and found myself enjoying it way more than whatever Sicilian stuff I first tried.

But Tess and I were brought white Vermouth, which is dry and rather more herbal than its red counterpart. We mixed it with our sparkling water and hoped for the best. I took a sip as did Tess. “Wow, this is great! How do you know so much about this kind of thing?”

Luck, I guess.

So tonight, not feeling a hot toddy or straight whiskey or armagnac, I made my own white vermouth drink. I added some maraschino cherry juice, which made me think of the Shirley Temples my grandpa always used to make.

A Vermouth Shirley

Fill a glass with ice and 1/3 (about 1.5 shots) of the way with white vermouth, preferably Martini and Rossi. Then top with sparkling mineral water to fill. Add a splash of maraschino cherry juice, stir, and serve.


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