Penny Pincher cocktail

Well, I didn’t think the government would still be shut down. While it’s not really affecting my work or finances (yet), I do feel for those who are facing their own fiscal crises. And paycheck or not, we all need a drink on Friday (and probably Saturday, and Sunday), so this week, we’re keeping it cheap with a vermouth cocktail.

My friend Beau Williams, of the craft cocktail catering company Hawthorne & Julep in Kansas City, MO, recently introduced me to the idea of vermouth as the star of a drink, as opposed to adding a dash to a martini. “It’s herbal, slightly sweet, slightly bitter, sometimes spicy, and relatively low in alcohol content — which is especially nice while spending a long Sunday drinking,” Williams said.

You know what else vermouth is? Affordable. So this weekend, my furloughed friends can put back a bunch of these Penny Pinchers without breaking the bank. Sweet vermouth can be purchased on the cheap (around $5 a bottle) and goes up from there. Upgrade if you can. Beau usually garnishes his vermouth cocktails with a slice of lemon or orange, but since we’re pinching pennies, I used lime and it worked wonderfully.

The Penny Pincher

2 ½ ounces sweet vermouth
Club soda
Lime for garnish

Glassware: Rocks glass

Method: Pour vermouth into glass, add a squeeze of lime, and fill to the top with ice. Top off with club soda, stir gently, garnish with a slice of lime, and enjoy.