Wine-based spirits, also known as fortified wines, have been used in cocktails for centuries, adding depth to the flavor profile and increasing their complexity. These spirits include vermouths, sherry, port, and Madeira. These fortified wines lend different flavors, aromas, and even colors to your drinks. However, many cocktail enthusiasts often overlook the potential of wine-based spirits in their drink-making. In this blog post, we will share some tips on how to incorporate these classic spirits into your home bar and elevate your cocktail game.
Choose the Right Fortified Wine:
The type of fortified wine you choose will depend on the taste you want to achieve. For example, vermouth is infused with herbs and spices and comes in two varieties - sweet and dry. Use a sweet vermouth for Manhattans and dry vermouth for a martini. On the other hand, sherry is a versatile wine that complements many flavors. Use Amontillado for nutty notes, Fino for briny flavor, or Oloroso for rich and nutty flavors. Additionally, port and Madeira are sweet wines that add fruity and nutty undertones to your drinks.
Consider the Ratio:
When using wine-based spirits in your cocktails, it's essential to get the ratio right. If you don't add the right amount, the sweetness or bitterness of the drink may be off balance. Generally, the ideal ratio for fortified wines is one part of the wine-based spirit to two or three parts of the base spirit. For example, in Manhattan, the ratio is typically two-part whiskey to one-part sweet vermouth. Play around with ratios until you achieve your desired taste.
Experiment with Flavors:
Wine-based spirits come in different styles and flavors, and it's up to you to explore what works for your palate. Experiment with different combinations of fortified wines and spirits, herbs, and bitters. You can make a simple yet delicious sherry cobbler cocktail by combining sherry, sugar, and fruit slices. Alternatively, replace rum in your daiquiri recipe with Madeira for a nutty twist. Don't be afraid to get creative.
Use Wine-Based Spirits in Classic Cocktails:
If you are hesitant about using wine-based spirits in your cocktails, try incorporating them into classic drinks. For example, use vermouth in your Negroni in place of gin or substitute sherry for the red wine in a sangria recipe. Classic drinks provide a framework for experimenting with wine-based spirits and can be an easy introduction to incorporating fortified wines into your cocktails.
Pay Attention to Storage and Age:
Fortified wines have a higher alcohol content and can be stored for several months without spoiling, making them perfect for home bars. However, it's essential to store them properly to maintain their flavor and aroma. Store your vermouth and sherry in the refrigerator after opening them, and consume them within three weeks, while port and Madeira can be older for up to a month. Additionally, note that some fortified wines, like sherry, are aged differently and can come in different styles, such as fino, manzanilla, amontillado, and oloroso. These styles reflect the age, flavor intensity, and production process.
For more information, contact a company that has services such as Spirit Wine