For centuries this cocktail has been made in Italy’s northern region of Piedmont. A blend of wine, fruit, spices, and herbs produced by six family-owned wineries located in the hills surrounding Turin.
The benefits of drinking Vermouth di Torino are numerous, starting with its naturalness because it is made only from white wine and includes its taste, which is unique not just for Italy but on an international level.
As well as using locally grown ingredients to create their aromatic drink, these producers embrace over 200 years of tradition passed down through the generations. They are even still using wooden barrels that have seen many a harvest come and go before them to achieve unique flavors each year.
What makes this concoction so unique, you might ask? Well, its very Italian heritage for one thing combined with an age-old recipe handed down from father to son belonging to another time when quality was not negotiable and no expensive or unnecessary modern techniques were used in its production.
For these reasons, it is extraordinary indeed. With the arrival of spring, Vermouth di Torino’s unique flavor comes into its own, perfect for mixing up a refreshing cocktail or enjoying on ice as an after-dinner drink.
One of the most popular cocktails is the Americano invented in 1860 by Camillo Negroni at CaffèCasoni in Florence. The legend has it he asked bartender FoscoScarselli to replace the soda water in his favorite cocktail, the gin Fizz, with sparkling red vermouth, upon which Negroni declared, “That’s my drink.” Soon this mix became very popular across Europe and America, where it took on more carbonated proportions known today as an Americano.
Another classic is the Negroni, first devised by bartender LeonettoCappiello at CaffèGiacosa in Florence for Count Camillo Negroni around 1920. An Italian aristocrat, he had returned from living in London with a newfound craving for bitters. Two parts gin to one part each of Martini Rosso and Antica Formula vermouth plus an orange peel garnish hit the spot perfectly for him.
The more recent invention of some bartenders perhaps, but this is certainly not taking anything away from these drinks, which have earned their place amongst great classics worldwide.
And so Vermouth di Torino has joined vodka as the only alcohol served chilled straight up before dinner rather than after.
In the Italian tradition of aperitivi, this is perfect for a light pre-dinner drink, a sip or two taken before a meal to whet the appetite, and best enjoyed with friends. It’s sure to leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever life throws your way.
A different kind of cocktail perhaps but one which will undoubtedly satisfy its sophisticated taste buds.