One of the key components of a high-quality martini is the vermouth that goes into the glass. There are variations of martini, with a wet martini having equal parts vermouth to vodka or gin. A dry martini of course has a lower amount of vermouth, but this is still a key component to getting the high-quality drink that you’re after.
Some people aren’t aware that you can actually enjoy a glass of vermouth on its own. This is a fortified wine that is highly aromatic and flavored with botanicals such as bark, flowers, roots, herbs, seeds, and spices. The botanicals used will vary from brand to brand, as well as the type of vermouth that you have opted for.
But with so many different types of dry vermouth on the market, how can you be sure that you have found the best dry vermouth for your needs? We want to help you in your quest to find the best dry vermouth, so we’ve done all the hard work for you.
Below we have reviewed the 9 best dry vermouths on the market so that you can take your martinis and Manhattans to the next level. Or why not sit back and enjoy a chilled glass of the below dry vermouths on their own?
Best Brands of Dry Vermouth
- Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Ambrato
- Mancino Secco
Dolin Dry Vermouth
Coming out on top is the Dolin Dry Vermouth. This particular dry vermouth hails from Savoie in France and has a fresh, clean, lighter profile than competitive liquors. Dolin Dry Vermouth features an elegant wine base that uses over 30 different Alpine herbs to give it a delicate, balanced flavor.
This particular dry vermouth features crisp, herbal notes, with floral and citrus overtones. This is versatile dry vermouth that will allow your martini to shine. It can be used for clean and dirty martinis, as well as with or without any bitters. Ultimately, this is high-quality dry vermouth that is best paired with a gin martini. You can also enjoy a glass of Dolin Dry Vermouth as an aperitif.
Dolin Dry Vermouth will pair best with dishes that feature white fish, oily fish, citrus fruits, salads, green veggies, tomatoes, and shellfish. It will make the perfect fit for a 1:1 martini with an olive or citrus twist. What’s really great about this dry vermouth is that it has notes of citrus without being overwhelming, which makes it the ideal choice for martinis.
Carpano Dry Vermouth
The Italians have perfectly crafted vermouth for centuries. So it’s no surprise that the Carpano Dry Vermouth is another excellent choice out of all the dry vermouths on the market. This is dry vermouth that is fruity and fresh on the palate, with initial sweet notes and a minerality finish.
You’ll get notes of Mediterranean herbs, orange, lemon, and green apple from this vermouth. It is a highly aromatic offering that leaves lots of floral and citrus notes on the palate. This vermouth also has a higher sugar content than competitive dry vermouths, which can make it a great fit for whiskey cocktails.
What’s really great about this dry vermouth is how versatile it is. You can use this dry vermouth in a variety of cocktails, including the clover club and of course, the classic martini. The Carpano Dry Vermouth is the perfect choice for dirty martinis, as it can match the brine from your chosen olives. You can also enjoy this dry vermouth with ice and the addition of orange peel.
Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Ambrato Vermouth
Another fantastic dry vermouth offering from the Italians is the Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Ambrato Vermouth. This dry vermouth has a notable orchard fruit flavor, making it a fantastic addition to a variety of cocktails, or even enjoyed in a glass on its own.
This particular dry vermouth has notes of pepper, apple, vegetal, and chamomile. There are plenty of botanicals to note in this dry vermouth, too. It makes use of red sandalwood, thistle, elderflower, angelica, mint, and genziana for a truly unique flavor unrivaled by other dry vermouths.
If you want to enjoy a more floral dry vermouth on the rocks or mixed with your favorite soda, then the Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Ambrato Vermouth should be your drink of choice. Thanks to its delicate balance of flavors, this dry vermouth would also lend itself well to a white negroni.
Ransom Dry Vermouth
Enjoy a wet martini? Then the Ransom Dry Vermouth should be your dry vermouth of choice. This particular dry vermouth features a unique blend of botanicals that lends itself well to the 1:1 balance of a gin martini. Its complex flavors blend well with the juniper flavors of gin.
This is a particularly aromatic bottle of dry vermouth hailing from Oregan. You’ll get notes of rosehip, chamomile, and skullcap. Verbena, orange peel. Star anise, spearmint, angel root, cinnamon bark, fennel, burdock root, vanilla bean, cardamom, lemon peel, and orange peel in this dry vermouth. It is a complex blend of botanicals that give it a superior flavor that will sing on the palate.
What’s really great about this particular dry vermouth is that it can be used to make a tasty cocktail, or it can be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif. Ultimately, this is the dry vermouth you should opt for if you want to try the best of American dry vermouths.
Cinzano Extra Dry Vermouth
The Cinzano Extra Dry Vermouth is another great offering from the Italians. This dry vermouth comes from a brand with a rich heritage behind it, so you can rest assured that you are buying a quality dry vermouth that will elevate your drinks to the next level.
This is extra-dry vermouth that comes with a flavorful, herbal punch. There are distinct notes of mint, oregano, orange, clove, thyme, and sage, with an interesting slightly bitter, mineral finish.
It is a wonderfully versatile dry vermouth that can be enjoyed on its own or as a key ingredient in a martini with a twist or olive garnish. It would make the perfect addition to a 50/50 martini, or you could even use it in a mojito in place of the staple white rum.
Routin Dry Vermouth
The Routin Dry Vermouth is another fantastic offering from the French. This particular dry vermouth hails from the Savoie region in France and makes use of the Sauvignon grape as its white wine base. The Routin Dry Vermouth tends to have a subtle dry taste that mixes well with a variety of cocktails, or it can be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif.
This particular dry vermouth is notably less herbal than some of the other offerings on our list, however, there is a delicate bouquet of 17 botanicals used to flavor the drink. You’ll get vegetal notes from this dry vermouth, including flavors from rose petals, wormwood, rosemary, bitter almond, and juniper.
Thanks to the noticeable notes of rosemary and juniper, this dry vermouth makes a great mix with gin-based cocktails such as martinis.
Contratto Vermouth Bianco
If you like your dry vermouth to have a bold, complex flavor profile, then the Contratto Vermouth Bianco should be your dry vermouth of choice. This particular dry vermouth has a flavor profile reminiscent of tonic water thanks to its bittersweet taste.
This particular dry vermouth has been crafted using white wine, brandy, sugar, and a whopping 50 different botanicals. It uses all-natural ingredients, so you can rest assured that this dry vermouth is vegan. You’ll get notes of ginger, bergamot, bay, sage, and chamomile from this particular dry vermouth.
You can enjoy this dry vermouth on its own with a twist of lemon peel, or in your favorite martini. It mixes particularly well with juniper flavors, so will be perfect for a gin-based martini.
Mancino Secco Dry Vermouth
We weren’t kidding when we said that Italy has perfected its dry vermouth. This particular dry vermouth features an array of botanical flavors to make it a great drink on its own as an aperitif, or you can mix it with other drinks to create tasty cocktails.
The Mancino Secco Dry Vermouth has been infused with 19 different botanicals to give this dry vermouth an interesting bouquet of aromas. You’ll note an array of Mediterranean herbs such as marjoram, sage, and oregano. There are delicate notes of dog rose, lemongrass, and iris, with a slightly bitter citrus finish on the palate.
You’ll be able to enjoy this dry vermouth best either on the rocks or when mixed with a gin martini.
Bordiga Extra Dry Vermouth
The Bordiga Extra Dry Vermouth is another excellent offering from Italy. Whereas some dry vermouths only have a single noticeable botanical, the Bordiga Extra Dry Vermouth has a whole bouquet on offer. This particular dry vermouth features a white wine base that has been infused with a range of botanicals.
In fact, at least 30 botanicals have been used to flavor this dry vermouth. You’ll notice notes of wormwood, gentian root, gentian flowers, nutmeg, coriander, and fennel seed, with a citrus finish.
You can enjoy this dry vermouth on its own with ice, mixed with tonic water, or mixed with your favorite vermouth-based cocktails such as a Manhattan or martini.
Choosing the Best Dry Vermouth
If you’re new to dry vermouths and making your own cocktails from the comfort of your own home, it can be tricky knowing what to look for in dry vermouth. There are so many things to bear in mind, however, we’re going to narrow it down to the most essential factors to help you find the best vermouth for your needs.
Ultimately, the most important factor that you will need to bear in mind when choosing the best dry vermouth is its flavor profile. What does it taste like? How many botanicals are prominent in each sip of dry vermouth? You will also need to think about what you will be using your dry vermouth for. This is because certain flavors will combine better with other ingredients.
Looking for dry vermouth that will be incredibly versatile which you can use in a variety of cocktail recipes as well as enjoy a chilled glass on the rocks? Then you will need to opt for a more versatile dry vermouth that isn’t too overpowering in its botanical notes. This will ensure that it will blend well with a mixture of drinks.
If you have a preference for gin martinis, then you should opt for herbaceous dry vermouth that has prominent notes of rosemary and juniper. This will meld well with the flavors of your gin, giving you a smooth martini to enjoy.
Make sure that you check out the botanicals that have been used to flavor your chosen dry vermouth. This will give you a better indication of which drink will be best suited for your needs.
Lastly, you should also think about how quickly you will make your way through your bottle of dry vermouth. The vast majority of dry vermouths will keep for around a month in your refrigerator before the flavors start to deteriorate. If you know you won’t drink a full bottle in this amount of time, it’s best to opt for a half bottle. If you love your vermouth-based cocktails or even enjoy the occasional dry vermouth aperitif, then a standard bottle will be ideal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should Vermouth be Refrigerated?
Yes, vermouth should be refrigerated. This will help it to keep for longer, as the whole method of refrigeration helps to slow down the process of degradation. It can help to keep your vermouth tasting great, so if you know you will finish your vermouth within a single month, you should always refrigerate your unopened and opened dry vermouth.
Can You Drink Vermouth Straight?
Yes, you can drink vermouth straight. Even though it is known to be a popular cocktail ingredient for both martinis and Manhattans, you can enjoy a perfectly tasty glass of dry vermouth neat. This can also help you to enjoy the unique aromas of each bottle.
What Can I Use Instead of Dry Vermouth?
If you don’t have any dry vermouth to hand, you can use dry white wine, Lillet blanc, or sake as a substitute. While these won’t be an exact match in terms of flavor, they will be the closest you will get if you don’t have any dry vermouth in your liquor cabinet.
So there you have it! You now know the best dry vermouths available to buy on the market. All of the dry vermouths that we have highlighted in more detail above will be the perfect addition to your cocktails, or you can even enjoy a glass of chilled dry vermouth on its own.
Now that you know which dry vermouth you want to use, it’s time to check out the best vodka brands to mix it with!
Which brand of dry vermouth do you like the most? Let us know down below in the comments and we’ll take a look!
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