With Crispy Sausage-stuffed Olives
What is vermouth? It starts out as wine, is then fortified with spirits, maybe sweetened, and finally gets infused and aged with umpteen herbs, spices, fruits and other bitter botanicals. Good vermouth is like an incredibly complicated, ready-made cocktail and should be treated with great respect and affection, not relegated to the back of your drinks cupboard. Between cinq and sept it becomes an aperitif you can rely on, richer and more potent than wine, more manageable than a cocktail. They say every wine tells a story—vermouth has a wealth of dark, fruity, herbal anecdotes on the tip of its tongue.
DOLIN VERMOUTH DE CHAMBÉRY DRY LCBO 370858, $14.90
Never mind a Martini, a glass of dry white vermouth is a fine and subtle thing on its own, served on the rocks. Complex, citrusy herbal aromas are a perfect pairing for green olives.
DILLON’S SMALL BATCH DISTILLERS VERMOUTH LCBO 477356, $19.95
Intensely bittersweet with vanilla peeping out from the judiciously balanced botanicals, this is a splendid Ontario red vermouth. Serve it cold with a very small splash of soda to match the olives.