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Home Made

By Yvette van Boven

Published 2011

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This is my version of red vermouth. Do try it with white or rosé wine and add more cinnamon, for example, to taste. A tasty recipe that makes 1 litre (4 cups)


  • juice and rind of ½ grapefruit
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp of: oregano, rosemary, basil, sage and thyme (whatever you have in the house)
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 juniper berries
  • 4 cloves
  • pinch of saffron
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) brandy, gin or vodka
  • sugar: 125 g (4 oz/½ cup) sugar for sweet, 75 g ( oz/ cup) for medium dry and 25 g (1 tbsp) for dry vermouth 1 bottle red wine (750 ml/25 fl oz)


Add zests, juice, spices and flavourings to the brandy. Leave to stand for two weeks at room temperature to ferment. Shake the bottle occasionally. After this period, pour the liquid through a coffee filter or fine strainer and add the sugar. Then add the wine. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour the vermouth into a 1-litre (4-cup) bottle and shake a little to fully dissolve the sugar. You can drink the vermouth immediately, but the longer you leave it, the more mature the flavour. Serve on lots of ice cubes and garnish with a curly orange peel.