Human Courage – Scotland’s first Vermouth

We had the great pleasure of meeting Michael Kaplan, the man behind Wermod Dry Vermouth. This is the first vermouth of its kind to be made here in Scotland and is created in the stunning surroundings of the Dalmeny Estate, just outside Edinburgh.

The Estate is an ideal setting, as the grounds are full of incredible botanicals, with plans in place to grow even more in the walled garden. Wermod is made by combining 24 locally-grown and foraged herbs, roots and flowers, cold-infused in British wine and spirit. 

Like all true vermouths, Wermod Dry contains wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), a bitter perennial herb known as a tonic and aid to digestion. Michael adds no sweeteners, producing a dry, complex and (we believe) ideal vermouth for an exceptional martini.

The entire process- from cold-compounding to bottling, labelling and packaging for distribution – is all done on site in an outbuilding, surrounded by a mature garden.

Michael is a historian, and his love of horticulture and botanicals is deep-rooted in history. For centuries we have been using herbs for their health-preserving properties as well as for their aromas and flavours.

When the Romans brought winemaking to Britannia, they provided the perfect medium for capturing all this herbal richness: the infusion that the Old English named wermód (meaning “human courage”) – and that we call Vermouth.

This makes us think of Dutch Courage, where soldiers in the 17th century would drink jenever the precursor to gin, before entering battle. Imagine if they had combined the two all those centuries ago? Maybe they did. And, is that why author Ian Fleming famously had James Bond drinking a martini? One to ponder over a martini.

Martini Recipe, courtesy of Alessandro Borelli of DINE, Edinburgh


25ml of Wermod vermouth

65ml of House of Elrick

2 dashes of orange bitters


Add lots of ice-cubes to a jug

Add the vermouth, gin and bitters

Stir with a cocktail spoon, don’t shake


Ideally in a coupe, with a sliver of grapefruit peel


Wermod is also great chilled, as you would a fino sherry and paired with Scottish seafood and charcuterie. Vermouth is a great aperitif, and can also be enjoyed with soda water, as a long refreshing drink.

For more information on Wermod Dry Vermouth and stockists, please visit:

Please drink responsibly.

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