If Manhattan is your go-to cocktail, you are most probably familiar with sweet vermouth, one of its key ingredients. or maybe you got into the negroni train when the sweet vermouth-spiked cocktail was among the most popular drinks. However, you should not mistake the cocktail mainstay for a single-dimensional ingredient. The sweet vermouth can also be enjoyed alone and comes in handy in the kitchen. Whether you are ready to begin sipping sweet vermouth on its own or want to freshen up your Manhattan, here are the 10 best sweet vermouths money can buy.
10. Dolin Vermouth Rouge ($17)
The Dolin Vermouth Rouge is one of the best sweet vermouths money can buy. Dolin, a fresh brand, uses more than 30 botanicals and herbs, including hyssop, coriander, rhubarb, and several found in alpine grasses, to prepare this sweet vermouth. The vermouth is floral but not overly sweet hence it won’t make your cocktails a cloying calamity. While Dolin Vermouth Rouge is on the lighter side, it still provides remarkable notes of tree fruit and soft touches of sherry and honey, which goes well with any cocktail you mix it with. Most individuals love this vermouth in Manhattan but claim it has a great body and flavor, making it a perfect option to sip solo.
9. Lustau Red Vermut ($19)
Maintain things simple with the Lustau Red Vermut that needs a little more than an orange peel and block of ice shine. This sweet vermouth is made of high-quality Pedro Ximenez and amontillado sherries and botanicals such as gentian, wormwood, coriander, and orange peels. The sweet vermouth is dry and balanced on the tongue with citrus notes, nuts, and smoky wood. It perfectly balances out all the flavors resulting in a delicious cocktail with a remarkable depth without being overly bitter or sweet.
8. Quady Vya Sweet Vermouth ($20)
Add some sophistication to your life with the Quady Vya Sweet Vermouth. Wine Enthusiast gave this vermouth a 90-percentage rating for its refreshing flavor and honeyed sweetness. The Quady Vya Sweet vermouth is prepared from a sweet muscat base to which a rich selection of spices, herbs, and the dried citrus rind is added. Its multilayer explosions of warm flavors, tingling sensation, and appetizing bitter-sweetness will stimulate your palate remarkably. According to Wine.com, this vermouth tastes delicious with ice or straight.
7. Martini & Rossi Rosso Sweet Vermouth ($21)
Brick red, this is an elegant, versatile, and well-crafted Italian sweet vermouth. The Martini family first made this popular drink in Passione, a native town located on the foothills of the Alps in Turin. It has a whopping forty different botanicals that give it an overall sweet flavor with citrus notes. Up front, it is sweet with notes of orange peel, cherries, and a big dark chocolate element. The finish is gently bittersweet but never leaves the sweeter side entirely. This vermouth is widely associated with entertaining foods, the Italian passion for food, and motorcar racing.
6. Cinzano 1757 Rosso Vermouth ($21)
Named in honor of the year Cinzano’s founders, Carlo Stefano and Giovanni Giacomo, launched the label in Turin, it isn’t as easy to find robust vermouth than the 1757 Vermouth di Torino. While it’s relatively affordable, the vermouth does not skimp on remarkable flavor. This is luscious vermouth with lots of tangy fruit notes, aromatics, and a dry finish ideal for a Negroni. Its bitterness is properly balanced by the rich fruit flavors and plays remarkably with other ingredients, making it a perfect addition to any Manhattan cocktail. The sweetness balances the bitter aftertaste perfectly, giving the Vermouth an intense flavor profile worth sipping slowly on its own or in your favorite cocktail.
5. Cocchi Vermouth di Torino $23
The Cocchi Vermouth di Torino label has been distilled in Italy and is considered the highest quality sweet vermouths worldwide. While most people don’t sip vermouth regularly, it’s an experience worth trying, and the Cocchi Vermouth di Torino is the perfect start. The vermouth’s recipe is based on the original formula by Giulio Cocchi from the late 19th century. The sweet vermouth’s depth is evident when it gets into the lips. The textured herbal bitterness pulses gently against a rich sweetness hued with cherry, cocoa, candied fruit, and vanilla notes. This vermouth is dynamite with a bit of lemon zest and ice and is perfect in Manhattan. Ultimately, if darker, deeper flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and cherries are what you like in vermouth, this intense Cocchi Vermouth di Torino is perfect for you.
4. Carpano Punt e Mes ($24)
Punt e Mes is a term that refers to a point and a half, roughly referring to the composition of the vermouth. On one part is the vermouth, while half apart is an intensely bitter liqueur. It represents a distinct style of sweet vermouth, including a bittering agent in the formula. According to Liquor.com, it’s the most bitter of all Italian vermouth but also has significant sugar hence still bog on flavor. If you require the presence of bitters in your cocktail, Punt e Mes might be the perfect sweet vermouth for your home bar.
3. Lo-Fi Aperitifs Sweet Vermouth ($26)
Another best sweet vermouth that is a must-have in your home bar is the Lo-Fi Sweet Vermouth. The sweet vermouth is aromatic, some ginger, vanilla-like, a bit of rhubarb, some cardamon, and slightly acidic. The vermouth has notes of clove and cinnamon, combining tropical and stone fruits with fennel and anise notes which makes it surprisingly easy to drink. It has a sweet finish balanced with oak hints with a pleasing orange oil bitter. Generally, this is a great, less intense, and sweet vermouth.
2. Contratto Vermouth Rosso ($27)
Made in Piedmont, Italy, Contratto Vermouth Rosso is vibrant sweet vermouth with perceptible floral and fruity character. It features an aromatic blend of spices and herbs that gently infuse the wine to create a unique taste and bouquet. These aromas and flavors make it a perfect candidate for Highballs made with mineral tonic or water. This sweet vermouth is perfect for contemporary and classic cocktails.
1. Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth ($37)
Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth has been long considered the gold standard for craft cocktails. Bold, big, and intense, the Antica boasts an incredible herbal nose and notes of cocoa, tropical vanilla, orange, and hints of saffron. While the Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth is on the pricier side, the sweet vermouth is completely worth it. People love this vermouth for its versatility and the fact that it’s perfect in a wide range of cocktails, adding sweetness without cloying. According to Gentleman’s Gazette, the vermouth has a strong character profile and a kick of vanilla as well as a sweet body that will upgrade any cocktail.
You can’t deny that sweet vermouth is a delicious drink. Whether you want it for imbibing, cocktails, or a white wine substitute in cooking, these sweet vermouths are always enjoyable as they have several flavors and varieties. Which bottle of sweet vermouth did you find most appealing? Feel free to comment below.