What even is vermouth? Most of the time, it's swished into a martini glass and then promptly discarded, because most people think vermouth tastes too weird to sully their vodka or gin. Even though most of us don't know a thing about fortified wine, we're happy to follow along with the trend, and along with its cousin sherry, vermouth is having a moment in the cocktail world.
You're seeing it crop up all over menus in the form of Cocchi di Torino, Dolin Dry and others. Often, you're not going to recognize the weird Italian name and you'll just order the damn cocktail anyway, but vermouth is a surprisingly solid addition to your cocktail repertoire. It's intensely floral and herbaceous and adds a dose of sophistication to the Whippet cocktail at Remedy on Lower Greenville.
Maybe we've been guilty of over-hyping Remedy. I've already gushed about The Better Lemon, a refreshing gin-and-Suze concoction that is still one of my favorite drinks of the year. But to judge barman Mate Hartai's impressive cocktail program by only one drink would be deeply unfair. With so much variety on this menu, knowing where to start is impossible. For an afternoon of day-drinking, though, the Whippet was the only choice. Mixed with Carpano Bianco vermouth, Aperol liqueur and house-made grapefruit syrup, it's the perfect sip for when it's really too early to start having cocktails.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Served in a fancy little cocktail glass, the Whippet is the type of dainty drink that I am immediately drawn to. Its intense orange color is incredibly appealing, and makes it look almost as delicious as it tastes. Garnished simply with a perfect little orange peel, it is the kind of cocktail that fits perfectly into this joint's Gatsby aesthetic. While you're sipping, it's impossible to not feel like you've been transported to a much more elegant place than dingy Greenville Avenue.
The intense floral flavor of the Carpano is mitigated nicely by the anise flavor from the Aperol, and the house-made grapefruit syrup is perfectly balanced between bitter and sweet. Even though it's technically a "low-proof" drink, a few Whippets is all you'll need to lose your keys and end up sobering up over at Blue Goose, face-first in a plate of nachos. I am always surprised by how buzzed I am after a few cocktails infused with fortified wine, which makes me feel better about buying a $10 drink with no actual hard liquor.
Still, in this current bar climate, $10 for such a fancy cocktail is really kind of a steal until you realize that you're consuming a drink that clocks in at under 4 ounces. Such is the beauty of the craft cocktail -- it's no longer about how much booze you can drink, but how much flavor you can pack into these itsy bitsy glasses, which seem to get tinier as the weeks progress. Soon, we'll be sipping gin and soda out of artisanal thimbles, and idiotically paying bartenders $15 for the privilege.