Our lifestyles have changed significantly in the past 12 months. Instead of battling the daily commute, many of us are now working from home, brainstorming with our co-workers virtually and socializing with friends over Zoom at the weekends.
Despite the challenges of the times we’re living in, we’re realizing the value of slowing down and taking a moment to celebrate the joie de vivre. This could be as simple as preparing a light aperitivo after work and channelling your inner mixologist — something we’re fans of.
In doing this, you can choose a low-ABV option blended with botanicals, like Martini Vermouth. This year, 60% of Canadians intend to discover new no/low-alcohol brands, according to a 2020 No/Low Alcohol Study by IWSR Canada, demonstrating a shift in consumer interests.
Kris Bahamondes, Senior Portfolio Ambassador at BACARDI Canada, says an increased focus on health, wellness, and everything we consume is a reason for this. “Consumers have busy lifestyles. They try to fit as much as possible into their days and strive to maintain a sense of balance and positive well-being,” he tells Daily Hive.
“They have a growing appreciation of the benefits that come from a more balanced approach to life, one that prioritizes the simple, everyday pleasures of investing quality time with close friends and family around the table, over food and drink.”
Bahamondes says low-ABV cocktails allow us to have balance, be more in control, maximize moments that matter with loved ones, and be ready to take on whatever the day brings.
This leads us to our discussion on Martini Vermouth, a fortified wine that has been present on tables in the best aperitivo moments of intimacy and connection shared by friends and family — in bars and homes around the world — for over 150 years.
Martini, Bahamondes explains, was founded by three friends in Italy back in 1863. Since then, it has embedded itself in culture as “a true Italian style icon.” And today, it still occupies a special place in the hearts of Italian people, crafted by generations of wine masters in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy.
“The blending of sustainably-sourced natural herbs and botanicals with wine creates a truly distinctive taste across a wide range of light, refreshing, low-ABV drinks. Martini vermouths have a versatility that offers a choice for all tastes,” he says. “They are the perfect accompaniment to the mid-tempo aperitivo occasion.”
The trend of making premium and classic cocktails at home has accelerated over the past year, notes Bahamondes. “There is an increased desire to explore new things and new hobbies.”
Since people are experimenting in the kitchen, they have more time to create the meals they previously enjoyed at restaurants. “Vermouth and aperitivo cocktails are the perfect accompaniment to food. An aperitif cocktail, with its balanced but bitter profile, is designed to open up the appetite.”
Vermouth, the Senior Portfolio Ambassador explains, is an important ingredient in many classic cocktails that gen z and millennials are discovering and creating at home, including the Negroni, Manhattan, and the classic Martini cocktail.
“Its bittersweet flavour lends itself to be the hero of many low-ABV cocktails, many of which are very simple to make at home and pair beautifully with small bites and appetizer foods, including charcuterie, cheeses, olives, and breads.”
Bahamondes says people often recognize vermouth as an ingredient in a classic cocktail, but they don’t know that it can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in simple but aromatic cocktails (think Vermouth and Tonic, Vermouth and Soda, Vermouth and Sparkling Wine).
“Vermouth is a great choice because it’s affordable and versatile and can elevate many cocktails with a boost of flavour,” notes Bahamondes. Its range of flavour variants, fresh aromatics, herbal characteristics, and distinctive taste make it shine on its own and in cocktails.
You could try Martini Rosso Sweet Vermouth mixed with tonic or in a Negroni; Martini Bianco with prosecco or ginger beer; or Martini Extra Dry Vermouth with soda, prosecco, or gin as the accompaniment.
The quality of vermouth starts in vineyards and continues with sourcing high-quality botanicals. “Most vermouth is made completely from white wine grapes,” says Bahamondes. “As such, it must be kept sealed in the fridge once it has been opened, just like a regular bottle of wine.”
So, if you’re planning to build out your at-home bar cart with options that won’t sit and gather dust, Martini Vermouth could be the perfect addition. To discover more low-ABV cocktail and drink recipes, visit martini.com.