What is Vermouth?
Vermouth is an Italian beverage named after the French pronunciation of wormwood in German -Wermut. Vermouth is actually a fortified and aromatised wine that makes use of Wormwood. Vermouths are aromatized with a wide range of botanicals and it is a key component of many classic cocktails.
How is Vermouth made?
White wine is the typical base of Vermouths, that is produced from grapes like Clairette Blanche, Catarratto, Trebbiano, Blanchette,Trevigiana, and Piquepoul. The base wine is aged briefly and then fortified with a neutral grape-based spirit. Botanicals, species and herbs are added to large barrels, which are then filled up with fortified wine.
Traditionally, wormwood was the main ingredient used in the production. After this, the ingredients are left to steep or macerate. The barrels could be stirred or agitated for weeks on end. Finally, the Vermouth is extracted by pressing or distillation.
How to serve Vermouth?
Vermouth is a super versatile drink. It can be savored as an aperitif, enjoyed over ice, or as a cocktail mixer. When imbibed neat, a citrus twist like lemon or orange is used to enhance the flavors. Keep in mind, that lemon is suited for white blends and orange for darker vermouths. It forms the base for many classic cocktails like Manhattan, Negroni and martini.
What are the different types of Vermouth?
Vermouths are classified essentially into two types:
- Sweet (predominantly Italian and red)
- Dry (predominantly French and white)
Between the two, there is Bianco, Rossos, Punt e Mes, etc.
What are the best Vermouth Brands?
These are some of the best Vermouths for you to try out. You can thank us later!
1. Martini & Rossi Extra Dry Vermouth
This classic drink from Italy made its appearance on the day of New Year in 1900 after almost a decade of perfecting all the little nuances. It then went on to become an iconic drink that dominated the market for over a century.
Stir and savor the tart aromatic citrus flavors with a hint of raspberry. This is a preferred choice in a cocktail martini or vodka martini. After all, a great martini calls for a great Vermouth!
2. Martini & Rossi Rosso Sweet Vermouth
While the Extra Dry from Martini & Rossi is iconic, Sweet Vermouth is undeniably the more popular variety. It is created from a secret blend of wines and a whopping 40 botanicals that give it its distinct sweet taste with hints of citrus.
It was produced in 1863 and comes in a vibrant, red hue. It serves as a great accompaniment to food and can be had neat or in classic Manhattan.
3. Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
No list of the best Vermouth is complete without Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth created by the Godfather of Vermouth, Antonio Benedetto Carpano who came up with this recipe in 1786. Today it is distilled by Branca in Milan and they have retained the same recipe because, if it’s good, why change it right!
Rich and decadent, it mingles the rich flavors of berry, cherry, baking spices with notes of chocolate and vanilla to create an unforgettable taste. It can be imbibed neat or you can use it to upgrade your Negroni or Manhattan to the next level.
4. Dolin Dry Vermouth
This Vermouth is based out of AlpineTown in Chambery, France and is an acclaimed and respected brand by patrons and mixologists around the world. It was produced in 1820 with 15 macerated botanicals and spices.
It is lighter and drier than other varietals. It has a slightly sweet taste with hints of bitter citrus and underscores of refreshing menthol and balsamic notes. It tastes great in a variety of traditional cocktails.
5. Carpano Punt E Mes
This drink was developed in 1870 in Antonio Carpano’s Piedmont bar and its recipe is a best-kept secret, but do not worry this tastes great! The name literally means “point and a half” which refers to its delightful blend of one point bitterness and half a point sweetness.
This red Vermouth uses a white wine base and 15 herbs and spices. It has the refreshing aroma of fresh fruits and is full of warmth and depth. It begins with sweet vanilla and honey flavors followed by traces of bitterness from cloves and orange zest and finish off with burnt sugar.
Try it in a Manhattan – it will elevate your drinking experience to a whole new level. Try it out to see what we mean.
6. Casal Garcia Vinho Verde White
Sourced from Portugal, this is a light wine with lovely citric colors and is wonderfully refreshing. On the nose, it is a heavenly scent of tropic and citric fruits. It is a well-balanced drink, with a citrus and fruity taste, finishing with a harmonious and citric aftertaste.
7. Noilly Prat Rouge Extra Dry Vermouth
From France, this extra dry Vermouth is a bar staple. It became the official Vermouth of James Bond when it made an appearance in the movie – Skyfall in 2015. It catapulted to renewed fame after that.
Produced from 14 different herbs and spices, including Roman Chamomile, Moroccan Coriander, Tunisian orange peels, Indian cardamom, Italian Orris root and Indonesian nutmeg. All of these come together beautifully in this delicious vermouth with a herbal, floral and refreshing aroma.
Enjoy it straight or in your martini – it will taste as smooth as silk!
8. Cocchi Americano
Produced in the heart of Asti in Italy, this drink has been made since 1891 and uses only natural ingredients. A secret blend of herbs and spices, like Gentian, Cinchona and bitter orange peels are infused with white wine and steeped to lend an intense aroma to it. Savor it chilled or in a cocktail.
9. Cinzano Rosso Sweet Vermouth
Hailing from Italy, this has a red wine base which is loaded with herbs, spices like cloves and nutmeg and roots like licorice. It has the delicate balance of sweetness and bitterness from the herbs. Garnish with an orange wedge for a great sip!
10. Lo-Fi Aperitifs Dry Vermouth
This is made in the Napa Valley of California. This is a layered and complex drink. It is loaded with flavors of rhubarb, cocoa, vanilla, wild cherry bark and exotic spices. The finish is pleasurably sweet and balanced with hints of oak and slight bitterness from orange oil bitters and genital root.
Layered with aromas and flavors of rhubarb, cocoa, vanilla, wild cherry bark, and exotic spices. The sweet finish is balanced with hints of oak and the gentian roots and orange oil bitters lead a pleasing bitterness to the palate. It tastes great paired with straight bourbon, rye whiskey, gin, vodka or tequila.
11. Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino
Created more than a century ago, this is a truly classic Vermouth which is rich and well-rounded. It is meant to be sipped leisurely and has alluring notes of dark berries and other red fruits and citrus notes from orange. On the palate, it has the vibrant taste of cocoa, rhubarb, cocoa along with an earthy bitterness.
It makes for a decadent drink by itself when served on ice, but you can also include it in Manhattan or a Negroni to amplify the flavors and taste.
12. Broadbent Vinho Verde
“Vinho Verde” means green wine in Portugal. This is so named because of the hints of the lime color of the drink. Light and bright with a hint of effervescence, it is truly one of the best summer wines!
13. Cinzano 1757 Rosso Vermouth
Two brothers, Carlo Stefano and Giovani Giacomo Cinzano from Turin, Italy founded this. This is a premium, intense and superb-quality Vermouth with plenty of bittersweet flavours and striking notes of dates, cherries, subtle herbs and sweet spice. It makes a statement with its rich texture and vibrant fruit notes.
14. Ransom Dry Vermouth
Ransom Dry Vermouth is made with a blend of aromatic and organic white wines and Pinot Noir blanc. There are plenty of botanical infusions including rosehip, chamomile, star anise, orange and lemon peel, angel root, cinnamon bark, fennel, cardamom and vanilla bean.
Overall, it has a bittersweet flavor profile. It gives great depth and finesse to cocktails, both classic and modern.
15. Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Ambrato Vermouth
Yes, we have yet another Martini & Rossi Vermouth in this list. Unsurprising considering that this brand is synonymous with Vermouth. Named for its rich, amber color, this drink pays tribute to the original recipes which feature blends of spices and aromatic herbs.
It has distinct chamomile flavors, followed by elderflowers and eucalyptus with floral traces of gentian flowers and refreshing mint.
16. Dubonnet Rouge Aperitif
From France, this is a popular sipper with a red wine base infused with blends of herbs and spices. On the nose, it offers cherry, walnut and mint aromas with traces of cardamom, coffee and zesty lemon. On the palate, it bursts with flavors of orange, nuts, chocolate and coffee.
The finish is lusciously sweet with refreshing lime and herb notes. It is easy to drink and can be served over ice. Trust us – it won’t disappoint!