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Sparkling Vermouth with FIOL Prosecco - Will it Beat Regular Vermouth?

Negroni Pianificato or the VeMiTo cocktail, made using Campari, Prosecco, and homemade Sparkling Sweet Vermouth

Hi, Friends of Cocktails! You can’t have mixology without mixing things, right? And two things that go great together are vermouth and sparkling wine. I think anyone that has ever tried a Negroni Sbagliato would agree with that, so what if we made a Sparkling Vermouth? It will have all the effervescence of a sparkling wine, but also the botanicals, herbs, spices & fruity notes of sweet vermouth, and then I’ll then use it to make a Negroni Pianificato… because this will be too good to be a mistake. 

So where did the idea for the Sparkling Vermouth come from? This year I partnered with FIOL to help bring back the glory days of sparkling cocktails. Back in the heyday of the French 75, Kir Royale or the Champagne Cocktails, the sparkling ingredient was more than just a topper, it was the main player! And while the Spritz cocktails take over in the summertime, I thought about where else I could incorporate prosecco to make a flavorful, but low-ABV cocktail. 

The Negroni’s predecessor, Mi-To, or Milano-Torino, seemed like a great start, but if you add soda to it you get an Americano, and if you just add prosecco you get the Negroni Sbagliato, so what are we doing here? Well since we already have a wine component - here it will be FIOL Prosecco Rose - I thought it would be fun to add vermouth’s botanicals and fortification to the sparkling wine. And before you ask, no, you can’t just add carbonation to vermouth and call it a day.

Here’s why: by concentrating the flavor components of vermouth, and adding fortification, we’ll boost our Prosecco’s tasting notes, but we’ll also make sure we keep the delicate bubbles in our sparkling wine. For this recipe I’ll be using FIOL’s Prosecco Rosé and boosting its tasting notes with our vermouth base. It has fruity notes of apple and pear, red fruits like raspberries and wild strawberries, some citrus and subtle floral notes of rose, acacia, and peach blossom. 

We’ll build on those with Calvados as the base, which will enhance the apple notes, but it will also bump FIOL’s ABV from 11% up to 16-18% range, which is typical for vermouth. As for botanicals I’ll be using some citrus peels, some dried herbs and fruits, bittering agents and sugar. So let’s start with making the vermouth base, then combine it with prosecco. It’s Cocktail Time!

Sparkling Wine being served over a clear ice sphere in a fancy glass

Vermouth Base

● 300mL · 11oz Calvados

● 295g Sugar

● 4g Dried Orange Peel

● 6g Fresh Lemon Peel

● 0.12g Dried Thyme

● 0.56g Dried Basil

● 1.6g Rose Buds

● 1g Crushed Hibiscus

● 0.5g Wormwood

● 0.1g Cinchona Bark

I’ll be using a sous vide cooker for the most control over temperature, but first, I’ll dissolve the sugar in the Calvados. This will take quite some time, so I’m using my trusted magnetic stirrer to do this for me, and once that’s done we’ll add it to a sous vide bag and follow that with our botanicals, keeping in mind that the wormwood and Cinchona Bark go in whole, not crushed. Then try to get as much air out of the bag as possible, double seal the bag and place it in the sous vide bath. 

We’ll set this to 65°C, or 150°F, and we’ll cook it for 2 hours. Even with all the sugar melted beforehand it’s still a good idea to give everything a little shake at least once during the cooking process. Once it’s done, remove the bag and let it cool completely, then cut it open and strain the liquid through a coffee filter. What you’ll end up with is a vermouth base, with plenty of flavor and ABV, and this is what we’ll add to our wine component, resulting in sparkling vermouth. 

We ended up with around 450 ml of the concentrated vermouth base, which can be used to make around 1.5l of sparkling vermouth - that’s two regular bottles or one magnum bottle! I’ll fill up one classic bottle, and then show you another way of using this combination in a cocktail. 

Sparkling Vermouth

● 525mL · 17.5oz Prosecco

● 225mL · 7.5oz Vermouth Base

To make yourself a bottle of sparkling vermouth first pour out 225mL of prosecco - I weighed the full bottle beforehand - then slowly pour in your Vermouth Base. We need a 7:3 ratio of Prosecco and Vermouth Base, so with that now close the bottle with a pressure stopper, pump up the pressure and gently turn the bottle to mix the ingredients. Place in the fridge for 1 hour for our sparkling vermouth to settle a bit, and once it's nicely chilled it's time to pour yourself a glass and give it a try. 

It’s bright and bubbly. All the notes of Rosé are truly emphasized, making it feel like you're drinking an amplified prosecco rosé. This is one way of combining the two ingredients, perfect for a larger batch of cocktails, but if you just one a single serve you can also combine 1,75oz or 52,5mL of Prosecco Rosé, then adding 0,75oz or 22,5ml of our vermouth base and giving it a gentle stir. You can always multiply the amount of the base by 2.33 to get the 7:3 ratio.

Just from the sparkling vermouth itself, it's clear that this will be an excellent ingredient for several cocktails. We have ingredients representing the Veneto region, Milano, and Torino, so you could also call this a VeMiTo cocktail, or a Negroni Pianificato for planned Negroni! Let’s make it.

Negroni Pianificato (The VeMiTo Cocktail)

● 90g Sparkling Vermouth

● 30g FIOL Prosecco

● 7.5mL · 0.25oz Campari

● 1 dash 20% Saline Solution

First grab a chilled glass, into which I’m adding a clear ice sphere. Start with the ingredient representing the Veneto region, FIOL Prosecco and our Sparkling Vermouth - if you’ve seen my Cocktail Hacks video you’ll know why I’m using a scale for bubbly ingredients - lastly, a little salinity from the Mediterranean, a dash of saline solution. Give everything a quick turn with a barspoon to mix the ingredients, then garnish with an orange wedge. It looks amazing, but let’s give it a try before we sing its praises.

Wonderful orange aroma pairs beautifully with the refreshing, effervescent and balanced cocktail we made. The fizzy vermouth adds a lively kick to the subtle bitterness of Campari. With each sip, you'll taste a blend of herbs and citrus, creating a deliciously balanced drink that's both familiar and exciting. Call it what you will, you’ll want to make another, but with that we’ve made it to the Bottom of The Glass.

And while you’re down there, help us congratulate our director Robi and his wife, who got married recently. Sašo and I were lucky enough to be invited to the intimate ceremony to celebrate their love, and right now Robi is in Venice on their honeymoon. If you want to leave them a message, feel free to leave a comment on the full episode on YouTube, and hopefully he can find the VeMiTo cocktail there. 

Before we finish, if you forgot you still had some sparkling wine left in the bottle and it went flat, there’s some great ingredients you can make from that, including rosé foam and orange liqueur. Until next time, cheers, Friends of Cocktails!


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