Episode #039: Vermouth Cocktails

vermouth cocktails

Vermouth is an aromatized, fortified wine aperitif. The base wine is infused with botanicals making it aromatized (botanical ingredients often used in vermouths include cloves, cinnamon, quinine, cardamom, chamomile, coriander, juniper, hyssop, citrus peel, and ginger) and blended with grape brandy fortifying it. Several wine grapes, including Clairette blanche, Piquepoul, Bianchetta Trevigiana. Catarratto and Trebbiano, are generally used as the base ingredients for vermouths.

It usually plays a secondary or modifier role in cocktails, but can occasionally be the featured ingredient. Classics like the Manhattan and Martini are great for highlighting the variety of vermouths. The two most common are dry vermouth and sweet vermouth (also often referred to as red vermouth).

Vermouth Cocktails

Reverse Manhattan

  • 2 oz of robust sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica Formula or Punt e Mes)
  • 1 oz of rye whiskey
  • Angustora bitters
  • Luxardo Cherry

Combine ingredients, add ice and stir thoroughly. Strain into chilled coupe or cocktail glass, and garnish with a cherry.


  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Sweet (red) vermouth
  • Club soda
  • Orange twist

Pour the Campari and vermouth into a rocks or highball glass filled with ice. Top with soda and add a orange twist. Also very versatile with a variety of bitters.

On the Rocks with a Twist

It may have been made as a joke in the movie Groundhogs Day, but we at Speaking Easy Podcast highly encourage a sweet vermouth on the rocks with a lemon twist before dinner. A great way to get a meal started and work your way through a bottle of vermouth more quickly.

Some recommended dry vermouth brands are:

  • Dolin
  • Martini and Rossi
  • Cinzano
  • Noilly Prat

Some recommended sweet vermouth brands are:

  • Punt e Mes
  • Dolin
  • Carpano Antica Formula
  • Noilly Prat


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