The August 13th

The August Thirteenth is a cocktail featuring Rosso Vermouth (also known as Sweet or Red Vermouth).

I’ve been motivated to make a tasty cocktail featuring Rosso Vermouth (also known as Sweet or Red Vermouth) ever since I first saw the movie Groundhog Day. In fact, my first attempt was simply a recreation of the cocktail from the movie. Folks, that was an early Pandemic Pub Fail.

While I may have to admit that the taste of the Rosso Vermouth may not exactly be in my wheelhouse, the fact remains that we have a bottle to use, so we’re all going see a lot more vermouth in the coming days, weeks, and months!

I thought fairly deeply about this one, and I think my fatal error was to ignore my instincts. Those instincts said to use the salt of olive brine to complement and balance the inherent bitterness of Rosso Vermouth. It sounded radical, even to me (and I have no compunction about playing around with unusual cocktail ingredients, believe me!). Instead, I stuck with good ol’ citrus, partly because Elizabeth really loves all the citrus fruits, and partly because there seemed to be a more well-traveled path to success that way.

Folks, I was wrong! We both agreed that it wasn’t exactly *heinous* but it was certainly a Fail. I consider it a personal embarrassment.

Although I added several olives to the garnish in order to incorporate the salt, in retrospect, that was a little cheap. We may never know if the olive brine would work better because:

  • I didn’t do it, and
  • All future Rosso Vermouth drinks will need to be better disguised

In other words, I’m not sure I could get away with anything like this again.

Rosso Vermouth, I’m coming back for you! I might have to sneak up on you, but I’m going to make it work.


  • 4 oz. Rosso Vermouth

  • Juice from several lemons, to taste (good luck with that, because you’ll never drown out the taste of the vermouth)

  • Olives

  • Lemon wedge


  • Add vermouth and juice to a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake, pour into a lowball glass with ice. Garnish with olives and lemon.
  • Grit your teeth.
Failed on August 13th

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