Brooklyn’s Q Tonic is sold in four-packs of 6.4 ounce bottles. London-based Fever Tree, which also makes tonic water and other carbonated beverages often used in cocktails, sells four-packs of 6.8 ounce bottles. And while you can also get Q Tonic in 8- or 24-ounce bottles, the company understands that it’s nice to have smaller sizes so that the tonic water doesn’t go flat if you’re not going to make six gin & tonics at once.
So why don’t vermouth companies think this way? Where are the deluxe four-packs of Dolin, Noilly Prat, and Martini & Rossi? And why does Carpano Antica Formula only come in a one-liter bottle?
Think about it: Americans don’t drink vermouth on the rocks or as aperitifs. That may change, but for now, we buy big bottles of vermouth when we’re in the mood for Martinis or Manahattans, we make a couple, and then we screw the cap back on and forget about it for a while. We come back in a few weeks and wonder why our cocktails don’t taste as good.
To mitigate this, I buy the smallest bottle I can find, suck the air out of it with a vacuum wine saver, and store it in the fridge. It helps, but for a guy like me who makes a wide variety of cocktails, a bottle of vermouth can sit there for weeks. Besides, how much vermouth do single cocktails typically call for? An ounce?
Carpano Antica is another story. While it comes in a giant one-liter bottle, it’s way more conceivable to drink it straight. Just the same, the last time I bought a bottle, I split it with a friend. My half bottle still lasted me six weeks (and yes, the flavor did degrade noticeably).
They could even charge a premium for four- or six-packs of smaller bottles — consumers would either not notice it or gladly pay for the novelty. I would, if it meant fresher cocktails.
I reached out to the big vermouth companies and got nowhere. (Seriously, it’s near impossible to find a human at these companies.) So Noilly Prat, Martini & Rossi, if you’re listening, please consider marketing four- or six-packs of small vermouth bottles.