Vermouth plays an important role in countless cocktails, from the classic Manhattan and Negroni to modern concoctions created at bars around the world. The fortified wine varies by style and producer, but most vermouths feature a profile that is herbal, botanical and floral, some showcasing hints of bitterness, while others lean toward the sweeter end of the spectrum. Vermouth is a workhorse in drinks, but sometimes what one vermouth can’t do, two can accomplish.
One Last Midnight is a spirit-forward drink created by Meaghan Dorman, the bar director of Dear Irving in New York City. She employs aged Venezuelan rum and two Italian sweet vermouths—one rich and lush, one more bitter and nearly amaro-like. The drink also sees a spritz of smoky Islay scotch and a pinch of coffee-infused salt. The combination works.
Blending vermouths has a long history. In the 1800s, there was plenty of subpar vermouth, which led enterprising bartenders to doctor bottles with spices, wine or spirits. This made the liquid taste better, but it also achieved a particular flavor profile. Today, you don’t need to start with bad vermouth to experiment with blending. Choose a couple of vermouths you like, and note how they differ. Combine them to find balance between sweet, dry and bitter, and you might find a new favorite flavor to sip or use in cocktails. Or just make Dorman’s recipe, as this safe bet has already been perfected.
Spritz the scotch into a rocks glass.
Add the rum, sweet vermouth, Punt y Mes and coffee-infused salt into the glass with one large ice cube, and stir gently to combine.