Martini & Rossi is one of the staple names – maybe THE name – in vermouth to most people. It can be found in grocery stores, liquor stores and everywhere in between and is therefore the most likely vermouth you have tried.
I’ve covered at length the proper care vermouth must receive to stay flavorful. In fact, I opened a bottle myself recently to find it only lasted a week or so in the fridge before turning sour. I have also said something here at this very blog that I still stand by: pricier vermouth tastes a lot better than the cheap stuff.
That said, Martini & Rossi has given us a widely-distributed vermouth “upgrade” that’s a pretty smart choice to make if you’re having a night of Martinis or Manhattans. Usually, a bottle of “Martini” will run you about $10, and the Riserva Speciale is about $15-20.
For me, a chilled white vermouth is my favorite to sip with fish, and I’m happy to say that Riserva Ambrato is an excellent vermouth for just this. Serve on the rocks with a lemon peel. It has slightly bitter and dry notes of rosemary and herbs.
Riserva Rubino, the red vermouth in this brand, is great with richer flavors of meat or even my favorite pairing choice: cigars.
If it’s hard to imagine a bottle of vermouth being delicious enough to drink straight, pick up a bottle of Martini Riserva Speciale, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.