In the beautiful world of cocktails, your choices vary beyond belief; you have everything from the simple yet hard hitting Whiskey Sour, the tart crispness of an Appletini, or the rich and savory deepness of a Brandy Alexander. However, even in the cocktail world, finding a drink that quenches thirst, refreshes, has a decent kick, and is low-proof, is rare. One drink fits all of these criteria while also being delicious and shockingly simple to make; the Classic Vermouth Cassis.
The Vermouth Cassis is a simple, elegant drink that saw an explosion of popularity in the 1930s. Looking back, you can find the Vermouth Cassis listed in countless American home cookbooks, drink guides, and bartending manuals from the 30s onward. Over its long history, the Cassis has had many names; the two most notable are the Cranberry Cassis and the Pompier. The latter holds the origins and roots of the drink, Pompier, meaning fireman in French. The drink originated in France in the 1920s as an Apéritif cocktail. Apéritifs, deriving from the Latin word apierire (to "open"), are a low proof liquor or spirit meant to stimulate the appetite before a meal. Apéritifs come in countless variations, and some of the most popular types are Campari, Gin, Sherry, and of course, Vermouth.
Extremely common in Europe, Apéritifs have been a part of the drinking and culinary culture for hundreds of years. So when alcohol enthusiasts in the US fled to France during the 1920s, as prohibition was decimating the American drinking culture, they became exposed to Apéritifs. They then took the drink recipes home (once prohibition was over, of course!), and the Pompier spread like wildfire. Since then, the Pompier became the Vermouth Cassis and has been a part of the American drinking culture.
The Vermouth Cassis is a simple cocktail to prepare; you only need a jigger, glass, and pairing knife.
1.5 OZ of Dry Vermouth (We recommend Dolin Dry Vermouth)
0.5 OZ of Creme De La Cassis (We recommend Lejay Creme de Cassis)
Top Note Tonic Club Soda To Taste / To Top
1 Lemon Twist
(Optional but highly recommended) Skewered Blueberries or Mint for Garnish
*Note - We highly recommend using small, single-use, bottles of Vermouth when making cocktails; this is because once opened, Vermouth will begin to go bad and gain an off taste after about one month, two to three if stored in a refrigerator. This can lead to the cocktail being less than pleasant, so freshly opened Vermouth is a must for optimal taste and freshness!
Add ice, Vermouth, and the Creme de la Cassis to a glass, followed by the club soda. Gently stir, and add the lemon twist with blueberries or mint for garnish and enjoy!