Vermouth - Expert Advice

Do you have questions about vermouth? Often overlooked except by adept bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts, vermouth can work in a number of cocktails, making it a valuable addition to the shelf of any home bar. If you are looking for some drinks to make with appetizers or before dinner, vermouth cocktails are an excellent choice. Enjoy either dry or sweet styles, depending on your cocktail preferences. We'll go over the differences between both types of styles, popular vermouth brands for you to make cocktails with, and delightful food pairings for the best experience.

What Is Vermouth?

Vermouth is a fortified wine infused with various herbs and spices. It is generally categorized into two types, sweet and dry. Dry (white) vermouth originates from France and is typically used in martinis due to its dry, floral taste. Sweet (red) vermouth originates from Italy and is known for its sweet, spiced, and herbal tastes. It is used in cocktails like Manhattans. 

Since it is fortified, the alcohol content is slightly higher when compared to non-fortified wines. So when drinking it straight, vermouth is better in small amounts.

What Are the Different Types of Vermouth?

The flavors of vermouth can vary depending on the brand and style. Some dry vermouths tend to be floral, herbal, and fruity, while sweet vermouths present dark fruits, spices, vanilla, caramel, cocoa, and herbs to the flavor profile. Though each Vermouth recipe varies, there are two different main types of vermouth, dry and sweet.

Originating in France, dry vermouth is also called white vermouth as it is typically clear or a pale yellow color. Its flavor profile is not very sweet, and it is made with various botanical ingredients. With its botanical blend, dry vermouth pairs exceptionally well with gin. You can find dry vermouth in a lot of classic gin martinis.

Sweet vermouth originates from Italy. It is also known as red vermouth, thanks to its red color. As the name suggests, it has a sweeter flavor profile than dry vermouth, though it is not as sweet as some kinds of liqueurs. Sweet vermouth can also have a hint of vanilla and other spices and herbs, which pairs well with dark liquors like whiskey.

How Can You Enjoy Vermouths?

You can enjoy them on their own or as part of a cocktail. When you are looking for the perfect drink for after-work appetizers, consider choosing vermouth. With such an abundance of flavor options, it's easy to find vermouth cocktails that you love.

For a classic martini, try this brand of dry vermouth. The only ingredients in creating this simple cocktail are dry vermouth and gin. You can also substitute the gin for vodka if you prefer that spirit. It's pretty easy to change this drink according to your taste. Ordering a dry martini will be made with less vermouth, and a bone-dry martini will be made with only a little bit of vermouth. Having dry vermouth at home will allow you to experiment and see what ratios you prefer in this classy cocktail.

If you're looking to try another classic cocktail, this sweet vermouth is great for making Manhattans. This sophisticated whiskey drink will impress any guests and is so simple to make. With only a few ingredients, you can easily become a master at crafting this cocktail. To make it, stir together rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and angostura bitters. Finish off this classy cocktail by garnishing it with cherries. 

The Americano, a cocktail that originated in Italy, is light and perfect for day drinking. Perhaps not as well known as the martini or Manhattan cocktails, but it's just as easy to make and full of complex flavors. This drink contains Campari, sweet vermouth, and sparkling water. Since there are only three ingredients, it's important to choose high-quality bottles to get the best possible flavors for your cocktail. It's known for being light yet quite flavorful and has a distinctively bittersweet taste. Add ice cubes and an orange garnish to this drink for a bubbly refreshment. With its low alcohol content, this drink is perfect for the afternoon and early evening when you are looking for a drink that won't knock you out for the rest of the day.

If you're new to this type of alcohol, you may be wondering where to buy vermouth. Since it is a drink that is typically used in older, traditional cocktails, it's easy to overlook it when stocking your bar at home. We carry a wide selection of quality vermouth brands. When you're ready to start making some stellar vermouth cocktails, check out our range of dry and sweet options.

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