Regardless of whether you choose a martini or a Negroni, you won’t get very far without excellent vermouth.
In truth, the ancient and traditional drink has received a fresh lease on life due to the recent emergence of cocktail culture.
Italian vermouth, often known as sweet vermouth, was created for the first time more than 200 years ago in Turin, Italy.
Although the region around that city continues to produce some of the best sweet vermouth brands, other nations also produce excellent bottles. Vermouth is fantastic because it adds texture without being overly sweet and has a lot of flavor without being overpowering
The versatile vermouth pairs well with practically every cocktail ingredient, thanks to its gentle and flowery qualities. Here’s a list of all the best sweet vermouth brands.
Take my word, and add these sweet vermouth bottles to your next cocktail!
Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
For many years, people have regarded Carpano Antica vermouth as the benchmark for hand-crafted cocktails.
It has an alcohol by volume percentage of 16.5%. I find that a solid indication that the Manhattan at a bar will be good is if Carpano Antica is on the rear counter.
Antica, Turin-produced vermouth from the late 18th century, has an unexpectedly herbal aroma. It also features undertones of lemon, saffron, chocolate, and tropical vanilla.
This gives it a fantastic flavor for adding Scotch to a Rob Roy or finishing a Manhattan made with bourbon or rye.
Cocchi Vermouth Di Torino
Vermouth isn’t something most drinkers frequently consider, but it’s something you should give a shot.
The original Giulio Cocchi formula from the late 1800s was the foundation for the current formula.
It has been available for almost ten years with an alcohol volume of 16%.
You can tell how deep it is as soon as it touches the lips. The sweetness of the cream, which also contains traces of cocoa, cherry, vanilla, and candied fruit, contrasts sharply with the harshness of the herbs.
Although it’s a nice glass on its own, I think adding ice and lemon zest improves it significantly.
Dolin Vermouth Rouge
Dolin Vermouth Rouge has an ABV of 16%, and it is my favorite vermouth option.
I prefer it every time I have a drink due to its lovely spicy notes, light, fresh profile, and clean finish that does not overwhelm the drink’s other components.
Besides, the vermouth does not have lingering aftertastes like most commercial products.
Its French manufacturer Dolin uses more than 30 herbs and plants to create this Rouge vermouth.
These include plants in the alpine grasslands above Chambéry, such as coriander, hyssop, and rhubarb. It has a floral aroma but isn’t very sweet, so your cocktails won’t be overly sugary.
Although Dolin Rouge is lighter, it pairs well with practically any cocktail thanks to its powerful tree fruit notes and subtle overtones of honey and sherry.
Carpano Punt e Mes
Carpano Punt, e Mes, is the best vermouth for Boulevardier.
The Boulevardier is a Campari cocktail that is essentially a Negroni made with whiskey rather than gin.
According to a popular urban legend, this vermouth was named after a broker who mentioned how stock prices had increased by 1.5 points that day.
The merchant, therefore, requested a Carpano vermouth aperitif, also known as Punt e Mes in Piedmontese, with one sweetness point and half bitterness point.
The added bitterness and juiciness of the fruit give the Boulevardier its power. Carpano Punt, e Mes, has an ABV of 16% and orange, prune, and dried fruit taste notes.
Cinzano 1757 Vermouth di Torino Rosso
One of the strongest vermouths available is 1757 Vermouth di Torino, after Giovanni Giacomo and Carlo Stefano, the founders of Cinzano, established their label in Turin in 1757.
Rich in flavor, the vermouth has acidic fruit smells and a dry finish that allows the bitter Campari to shine. It has an ABV of 15%.
Cinzano 1757 Vermouth di Torino Rosso is excellent when mixed with Negroni, a timeless cocktail that cries out for a makeover.
However, I believe it’s crucial to use stronger Italian vermouth with enough richness to counterbalance the sharpness of the Campari without overpowering it.
Consider experimenting with different gins and vermouths and noting the significant differences in flavor.
Martini & Rossi Rosso
The first Martini & Rossi was made possible by the nose of Luigi Rossi.
Since 1863, it has been made with a careful selection of local herbs, and its rich red color comes from natural caramel.
Artemisia, a key ingredient, is still grown and harvested just a few miles south of Pessione.
Martini & Rossi Rosso’s aromatic and herbal notes pair nicely with the rich, salty snacks.
Pair with cheese and charcuterie board with salami, cured hams, and Pecorino cheese to balance out its floral and herbal notes. For a quick appetizer, serve it with a simple bowl of salted almonds or olives.
Punt E Mes Vermouth
Punt e Mes is produced in a renowned distillery in Torino, Italy, known as Carpano, with an ABV of 16%.
Its ingredients include white wine, quinine, and ten more herbs and spices. The vermouth is a red cola wine with aromas of balsamic reduction, black cherries, baking spices, and Christmas cake.
The finish has a thick, sweet, and enticing flavor from the clove, orange zest, and caramelized sugar.
Its creamy and bittersweet flavor results from tastes of plums, bitter citrus, vanilla, and cola spices that linger on the lengthy cream.
I recommend serving your cocktail with ice, soda, and an orange slice for a cool drink.