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Here’s a New Excuse to Order a Martini When You Visit China

Fans of martinis and negronis have a new excuse to drink in China, after the government lowered the import tax on vermouth, a key ingredient in the classic cocktails.

The tariff on vermouth will fall to 14 percent from a whopping 65 percent effective Dec. 1, as part of wide-ranging cuts in levies on imported products announced on Friday. With the tax on whiskey also set to be halved, the question now is whether bars will pass on the savings to drinkers.

Average tariffs for 187 product categories ranging from baby diapers to ski equipment will drop from 17.3 percent to 7.7 percent, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement, citing the need to help people get access to quality and specialty products which may be hard to source from local producers.

According to, a martini should be made of two ounces dry gin and one ounce dry vermouth, with an optional dash of orange bitters.

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