Vermouth is an excellent addition to any cocktail but using it in the right way is going to be key.
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There are three primary types of vermouth. Sweet vermouth goes well with spirits such as scotch, bourbon, and dark rum. Dry vermouth is ideal for lighter spirits such as vodka, gin, and tequila. Blanc vermouth may have floral notes and can be used in cocktails such as a Manhattan, Vesper, or dry martini.
Making yourself vermouth cocktails means you’re having an elevated drink that is reserved for the refined palette.
You’ll find all kinds of varieties too like sweet vermouth cocktails and dry vermouth cocktails that can satisfy any taste buds.
Vermouth, a versatile and aromatic fortified wine, has been a staple in the world of mixology for centuries. With its complex flavor profiles, ranging from dry and herbaceous to sweet and fruity, it’s no wonder that vermouth has made its way into countless classic and contemporary cocktails. As you begin to explore the diverse world of vermouth-based drinks, you’ll quickly discover the endless possibilities that this unique ingredient has to offer.
Whether you’re a seasoned bartender or a curious home mixologist, understanding the intricacies of vermouth and how it interacts with other ingredients will elevate your cocktail-making skills. And with such a vast array of vermouth styles and brands on the market, you’re sure to find the perfect match for your desired concoction. Let’s dive in and uncover the techniques, recipes, and tips that will help you craft your very own mouth-watering vermouth cocktails.
You don’t need a lot to make vermouth drinks as it’s more of a compliment to the other ingredients in the drink.
You won’t just find mouth-watering cocktails on this list but you’ll also learn what does vermouth taste like and how much a bottle might set you back.
Note your favorite drinks with dry and sweet vermouth so you can have a fancy cocktail ready to go whenever you want.
What exactly is vermouth?
Vermouth was created in Italy as a way to help wine last longer. In this process, they take wine and infuse it with herbs and spices before altering the alcohol content.
They then sweeten this mixture so it becomes sweeter than wine but not as overbearing as a liqueur would be. It’s basically a fortified wine.
There’s a lot of debate about what makes vermouth what it is but the basic idea is it’s a mix of wine, spices, and herbs, plus alcohol.
You can find dry vermouth or sweet vermouth which gives you two different tastes to work with when creating your own drinks.
Vermouth is typically kept in a cold location like your refrigerator so that it can stay good and won’t ferment too much.
What exactly does vermouth taste like?
The different types of vermouth are going to have different flavor profiles.
Sweet vermouth has a slightly spicier kick to it and will obviously be sweeter than the other varieties. You’ll find sweet vermouth in classic cocktails like the Americano, negroni, and Manhattan.
Dry vermouth is going to be a lot crisper and will even have more tannic properties compared to the others. It’s tart when it hits the taste buds and is drier like white wine. You’ll see this type of vermouth in a dry martini.
Red vermouth is always going to be dry while the sweet version will be white. There are also other kinds you’ll find like extra dry, sweet white, amber, or rose.
Typically, vermouth will have around 18% ABV but this will always change depending on the brand you purchase. Compared to liquors, vermouth has a pretty low alcohol content.
How much does vermouth cost?
For a bottle that is 750 ml you can expect to pay anywhere from $10-$15 and it will make you quite a bit of cocktails since you shouldn’t have to use a ton.
You’ll easily find a bottle at many liquor stores or even online. Martini & Rossi, and Dolin are both popular brands that many people opt for.
The best vermouth cocktails!
Vermouth has been around for a long time and it’s become a staple in some of the most well-known cocktails you’ll see on bar menus.
You’ll find the classics along with some cocktails you’ve probably never heard of below to get your vermouth recipes started.
The musician would be proud of this cocktail by the same name because it’s just as easy on your palate as the musician is on your ears.
It’s a mix of simple ingredients you might already have in your bar so it doesn’t take a lot of investment to make. If you really want to make this drink stay delicious, pour it in a chilled cocktail glass with some lemon zest.
One of the most popular vermouth cocktails of all time, the Manhattan is one you can make at home that is the perfect nighttime cap to a long day.
Just take one sip of the cocktail and you’ll already be sticking your pinky out and raising your chin. It’s the finest in sophistication when it comes to vermouth cocktails.
The flavors of caramel, vanilla, and oak will all coat your taste buds and leave your mouth watering for a second glass.
The name might not be the most tempting but this blood and sand cocktail will be one you’ll start having every weekend.
There’s not a lot of ingredients and it has a really nice balance between sweet and sour so you’ll get a well-balanced drink you can sip on all night over some fresh ice.
This is a good drink to only make two or three because this is also another deadly cocktail and can sneak up and grab you if you’re not careful with your pour.
James Bond isn’t the only one who enjoys dry vermouth drinks like the classic martini.
Just remember to make it shaken not stirred if you really want the entire 007 experience.
You can even mix up the liquor to make it with gin or vodka and it will still come out tasting delicious. Make sure you have a green olive on hand to make this look like the real deal.
When you have some refined cocktail drinkers coming over that think they’ve had everything, bust out this bijou cocktail recipe.
The story behind it is that it was created in 1895 so it’s an old vermouth cocktail but the taste is just as good today as it ever was.
You’ll be impressed with the visuals of this drink like you’re at a classy dinner party except you can enjoy it in your pajamas from the couch.
If you’ve never tried the negroni before, this is the one to try first. It’s simple enough that you can make it at home and your guests will love it whether they’re expert drinkers or not.
You’ll have some bitter kickback with every sip but it won’t be too difficult to drink after a few of them. The vermouth gives the cocktail an extra kick that would otherwise be missing if you didn’t have it.
You won’t find any coffee in this Americano as it’s filled with vermouth and Campari.
The bittersweet taste of the drink will make it seem like you’re starting your day even though it’s late in the afternoon.
It’s a lighter version of the negroni, so it’s best to have if you’re looking to get a few cocktails down and don’t want to get caught up in heavy flavors.
Despite the name, there’s no messing around with this drink because it’s such a smooth and tasty concoction.
The real kicker in this drink is the Fernet, which gives it a very unique taste you won’t be able to forget.
It might seem odd at first but the more you drink it, the better the cocktail gets. By the end of your glass, you’ll be headed to the kitchen to make yourself another.
If you’re looking for sweet vermouth cocktails, the Martinez is a tasty option.
You’ll need to mix equal parts dry and sweet vermouth so you have the perfect blend of flavors for your palate.
The maraschino syrup will also give this drink a rich flavor that isn’t too powerful but just right. There’s something about having this cocktail that will take you back to years gone by.
The drink is also very easy to make so you won’t have to spend half the night whipping this one up for all your guests in a cocktail glass.
Just make sure you have an orange peel to give it that look of sophistication.
10. Vieux Carre
You’ve probably never heard of this delicious drink but it’s well worth your time to learn.
Starting out of the mecca for drink creations, New Orleans, this one will make you feel like you’re in the heart of the French Quarter.
The rye base gives it a little bite but at least there’s no gin in this one so it will be easier to stomach than some other cocktails on this list.
No other drink makes you feel as fancy when ordering than the Boulevardier.
It’s definitely the most expensive drink on the list and you’ll feel like a big shot when it arrives at your table.
This is one of the drinks with sweet vermouth that looks beautiful with its red glow emanating from the mixing glass.
You’re pretty much getting a negroni except you’ll use whiskey instead of the gin that normally goes in the drink. This one is hard to only have one so you might as well keep the ingredients out.
12. Old Pal Cocktail
When you’re on your own and you need a little companionship when drinking, try out an old pal.
The drink is simple enough to make that you won’t need a bartender’s course to understand how to put it together.
Just remember that it’s not a cocktail for first time drinkers because of the strength in rye whiskey that goes into the glass. This one will definitely put you over your limit after just two drinks so make sure you’re at home with nowhere to go.
Our Best Vermouth Cocktails (+Manhattan Cocktail)
- 2 oz. bourbon or rye whiskey
- 1/2 ounce Italian sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
- Maraschino cherries or orange peel for garnish
- Ice cubes
- Combine bourbon or rye whiskey, vermouth, bitters, and ice in a cocktail glass.
- Stir well to mix.
- Garnish with a cherry or orange peel.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.