Peanut Satay

The Peanut Satay is a mixture of many kitchen ingredients - like a Thai dinner in a coupe glass.
I want to note for the record that there were two cute little curls of lime that looked like boats. You can’t see them here because they sank. True story. I salvaged one and used it on the side here.

Rosso Vermouth as Nemesis

Rosso Vermouth has kind of gotten my goat, so to speak. I was really disappointed by my previous attempts to use it (first and second were both Fails) – all the more so because it seems to be a highly recommended drink.

So I set out on this evening to specifically redeem Rosso Vermouth in my own eyes.

Take One

I added cherry bitters, which worked so well for me last night in the Nocciano, and gin, always a go-to. Folks, it was terrible!

Take Two

I thought the addition of muddled strawberries would be the solution (a feature I used the night before, again in the delicious Nocciano, to great effect). My expectation was that the strawberries would sweeten it up and mask the medicinal taste that crept in with the cherry bitters, but no! It tasted even more like cough medicine, as if that were possible.

Take Three

I added a pinch of salt, thinking that I could add a complementary flavor and bring things together…it works in painting! Still no.

I was getting desperate, folks. I opened the fridge to search…my eye fell on a tiny takeout container of a peanut sauce condiment, from some recent Thai takeout.

Take Four

Yes, I did it – I added a condiment to my cocktail! This still wasn’t nearly enough to save it, but I decided that at least this was an interesting direction.

Take Five

I decided to scrap this idea since it was still so far from working out. But I felt pretty confident that I could move in the direction of PB& J and save it, so I leaned into the peanut flavor. I added more of the peanut sauce condiment, then added more strawberries.

No. No! A definite No.

I put the entire terrible mixture aside, with the intention of reworking it into a sweet cocktail at another time, with either cream or peanut butter. But that would be a totally different creature.

“Either way, I think sweet flavor will save. Redemption lies this way.”

My notes

Folks, I am so dramatic when making cocktails. I really wrote that.

Take Six

With that long, drawn-out Fail put aside, I started again.

I grabbed the Rosso Vermouth, my archenemy, and added a small splash or two. I added gin (always reliable), then dry vermouth in a 2:1 ratio.

So far, so good. Then I squeezed some lime juice. I added the rest of the small container of peanut sauce. Since I’d already used most of it, I added my homemade version, which I commonly have on rice noodles, with tofu. It includes sriracha, peanut butter, shoyu soy sauce, rice vinegar, and salt.

That’s how I arrived at the Peanut Satay, folks. I wouldn’t call it a home run, but it would be good with Asian noodles (though that’s not how we enjoyed it; this was totally unplanned).

And you *know* I added that rim because nothing saves a drink like a rim!

I must say, some sips at the end – with more peanut, salt, lime – were actually pretty good.

I worked really hard for this one. Even though I ultimately saved it, I’m going to categorize the whole damn thing as a Fail.

Rosso Vermouth, you haven’t heard the last of me!


  • Cocktail
  • 3 oz. Gin

  • 1.5 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 2 splashes Rosso Vermouth

  • Juice of several limes

  • Thai takeout – remains of small container of Peanut Sauce

  • Homemade Thai Peanut Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter

  • 1 Tbsp. Shoyu Soy Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar

  • Squeeze or more of Sriracha

  • Salt to taste

  • Rim
  • Chopped peanuts

  • Salt

  • Chili powder

  • Garnish
  • Lime (boat) garnish – not visible in pics because they both sank!


  • Feel a terrible vengeance toward Rosso Vermouth (optional)
  • Attempt several versions (not recommended)
  • Combine liquors, lime juice, and Peanut Sauces in a cocktail shaker; shake until satisfied.
  • Combine dry ingredients for rim, and rim glass first! I can’t count all the times I forget to do that, and have to start over.
  • Pour drink into glass, think ahead to more ways to salvage Rosso Vermouth cocktails, and toast.
  • Ideally, enjoy this with a noodle dish.
Enjoyed on August 25

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