The image shows two martini glasses with a cherry in each, against the backdrop of a cityscape at dusk, with lights blurred in the distance.

28 Vermouth Cocktails—Easy Recipes

Vermouth cocktails bring a sweet and herbal magic, mixing vermouth with exciting flavors and drinks. Manhattan, Martini, and Negroni are just a few names you can order at a bar or make at home.

Vermouth cocktails make mixing drinks at home easy and fun! Whether using red, white, dry, or sweet vermouth, creating the best cocktail recipes, like a smooth martini or a zesty negroni, is a breeze. Even a splash of soda transforms these vermouth mixes into refreshing drinks to enjoy with friends and family. Let’s see what classic and new sips you can easily whip up in your kitchen!

28 Best Vermouth Cocktails (Dry and Sweet Recipes)

Check out our Vermouth cocktail list, where we highlight this flavorful fortified wine. You’ll find a variety of sophisticated and tasty drinks, each showing how Vermouth can turn good cocktails into something unforgettable:

Martini

A side shot of a Gin Martini cocktail in a martini glass with lemon pieces on the side on a circle wooden tray placed on a table, and a jigger and a shaker on the background.

A Martini is a straightforward yet refined cocktail that’s become a symbol of elegance in pop culture. This drink is most famously linked to the fictional spy James Bond but has seen its share of the spotlight in other movies and books. Its origins are unclear, as several stories attribute its name to different sources. Nonetheless, the Martini remains famous in the cocktail world, offering a crisp and slightly aromatic experience.

Manhattan

A side shot of a Manhattan cocktail in a cocktail glass on a brown wooden table with a plant on the side and a bar spoon and mixing glass on the background.

Manhattan’s origin takes us back to 19th century New York City, with a debatable story tied to a party thrown by Winston Churchill’s mother. While the authenticity of this tale is contested, Manhattan itself has persistently remained a popular cocktail choice. It masterfully combines the boldness of whiskey with the sweet and herbal notes of vermouth, creating a balanced, timeless drink.

Negroni

A side shot of a Negroni cocktail in a old-fashioned glass on a wooden tray, with an orange and a little branch with flowers

The Negroni from Italy is known for its strikingly balanced bittersweet profile. It’s said that the cocktail was invented when Count Camillo Negroni requested his Americano (a different cocktail) to be strengthened, which was achieved by replacing the soda water with gin. With its red hue and marriage of bold and bitter flavors from the Campari and the sweet, herbal notes from the vermouth, the Negroni offers a tasty sip and carries a dash of Italian history.

Dry Rob Roy

The Dry Rob Roy is often called the Scotch whisky version of the Manhattan, bringing its distinctive smoky and robust characteristics to the table. It’s named after the Scottish folk hero Robert Roy MacGregor and replaces the more commonly used rye whiskey in Manhattan with Scotch. The dry version uses dry vermouth, offering a lighter and more understated sweetness than its sweet counterpart.

Americano

A side shot of an Americano cocktail in a highball glass on a wooden board placed on a white table surrounded by five oranges, a shaker, and a bar spoon.

This one should not be confused with the coffee preparation method. The Americano cocktail is light and refreshing and is famous for being the precursor to the Negroni. It was invented in Italy and it is a spin-off of the “Milano-Torino” a drink called after  its primary ingredients: Campari from Milan and sweet vermouth from Turin. It is called Americano because of its popularity among American tourists during prohibition. The Americano offers a balanced bittersweet taste, making it an ideal aperitif that stimulates the appetite before a meal.

El Presidente

A side shot of an El Presidente cocktail in a coupe glass on a white cloth placed on a brown table with a plate with three oranges, and another white cloth around, in front of a reddish wall.

El Presidente gives us a taste of Cuba’s rich and colorful history. Believed to have originated in the 1920s in Havana, this cocktail was reportedly named in honor of President Gerardo Machado. It gained considerable fame during Prohibition as Americans flocked to Cuba to enjoy the delights barred in their homeland. The subtle sweetness of the vermouth delicately contrasts with the rum, creating a smooth and mildly sweet cocktail with a hint of fruitiness from the orange curaçao.

Hanky Panky

A side shot of a Hanky Panky cocktail in a coupe glass on a maroon cloth placed on a brown wooden table with a jiggar and a plant around, in front of a beige wall.

In the early 20th century, Ada Coleman, the head bartender at The American Bar in The Savoy Hotel, London, crafted the Hanky Panky for a famous actor, Sir Charles Hawtrey. Upon trying the cocktail, Hawtrey reportedly exclaimed, “By Jove! That is the real hanky-panky!” The cocktail is a charming blend of gin and sweet vermouth, with a dash of Fernet Branca, a bitter, aromatic liqueur that hints at complexity and an intriguingly herbal aftertaste.

Martinez

A side shot of a Martinez cocktail in a coupe glass on a maroon cloth with a plate full with Maraschino cherries to the side on a wooden board placed on a white table in front of a grey stone wall.

With a debatable origin story that often links back to the classic Martini and the Manhattan, the Martinez is a slightly sweeter, more robust cocktail. Some tales hint that bartender Jerry Thomas crafted it in the 19th century for a visitor bound to Martinez, California. The cocktail stands out with its use of Old Tom Gin, a slightly sweeter version of gin, combined with the rich and herbal sweet vermouth, producing a complex yet balanced flavor profile.

Bamboo

A side shot of a Bamboo cocktail in a cocktail glass on a multicolored surface surrounded by a bar spoon, a jigger and a green cloth in front of a plant.

The Bamboo cocktail dates back to the late 19th century and is believed to have originated in Japan. It cleverly unites vermouth and dry sherry, creating a crisp and slightly nutty flavor profile. The Bamboo avoids strong spirits, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer their cocktails to be lower in alcohol while offering a refined and delightful experience.

Bronx

A side shot of a Bronx cocktail in a martini glass on a wooden coaster placed on a wooden tray surrounded by a green cloth, a jigger, a bar spoon and a yellow bowl with orange wedge, in front of a black background and a plant.

The Bronx is a gin Martini with a juicy twist originating from the early 20th century. This cocktail is named after the famous New York City borough, though why it was named so remains a mystery. It introduces orange juice into the mix, giving the dry and botanical notes of the gin and vermouth a vibrant and fresh citrusy uplift, making it a spirited and lively cocktail akin to the borough it’s named after.

Adonis

The Adonis, a cocktail named after the first Broadway show to run for more than 500 performances, emerged during the 1880s. This sherry and vermouth blend offers a lower-alcohol option with light flavors, slightly nutty from the sherry and subtly sweet and herbal due to the vermouth.

Blackthorn English

The Blackthorn English is a gin cocktail that blends the flavors of gin with the sweet and herbal notes of vermouth. Unlike the better-known Irish version with Irish whiskey, the English variant has gin as its primary spirit. This leads to a brighter and somewhat sweeter sipping experience.

Vieux Carré

A Vieux Carre cocktail on a platform surrounded by two lemons and a jigger

This drink has its name from the French term for New Orleans’s French Quarter. The Vieux Carré was developed in the 1930s at the city’s famous Carousel Bar at the Monteleone Hotel. It melds the spicy-sweet essence of rye whiskey with the herbal notes of vermouth and the mellow sweetness of cognac.

Tuxedo No.2

The Tuxedo No.2 is like a Martini but with a smooth twist. It’s not named after fancy clothes but after the Tuxedo Club, a private member-owned country club in the village of Tuxedo Park,  New York. This drink mixes the clear taste of gin with the strong flavor of vermouth. A touch of maraschino liqueur gives it a slight cherry sweetness.

50/50 Martini

The 50/50 Martini is named because it’s made with equal parts of gin and vermouth. This combination lets the vermouth’s slightly sweet and herbal flavors come through, balancing well with the gin. It’s a different take on the classic Martini, offering a smoother and well-mixed taste.

Gibson

A side shot of a Gibson cocktail in a coupe glass on a black stone coaster on a grey surface surrounded by a white cloth, a transparent plate with two pickled onions, and a bar spoon with a pickled onion, in front of a black background.

The Gibson stands out because of its unique garnish: a pickled onion. While it’s similar to a Martini, this twist makes it special. There’s a story about an artist named Charles Dana Gibson who once dared a bartender to make a better Martini, and the Gibson was born. It offers a mix of classic and tangy flavors.

Palmetto

A side shot of a Palmetto cocktail in a coupe glass on a black stone coaster on a brown table surrounded by a cigar, a cigar cutter and a white cloth

The Palmetto mixes the deep taste of dark rum with the herbal hints of vermouth. Even though not many know its whole history, it’s liked for its simple mix. The vermouth makes the rum a bit lighter, giving a pleasant and sweet drink.

Chrysanthemum

A side shot of a Chrysanthemum cocktail in a cocktail glass on a multicolor tray surrounded by a strainer, a green bowl with orange wedges, and a bar spoon.

The Chrysanthemum is a unique drink that’s not as well-known but stands out because of its absinthe ingredient. Made in the early 1900s, it combines the strong taste of absinthe with smooth vermouth. The result is a drink that’s a mix of herbal, floral and anise flavors.

The Tipperary

A side shot of a Tipperary cocktail in a coupe glass on a white cloth placed on a brown table with a plate full with cherries on a side and a Green Chartreuse bottle and a jigger behind.

The Tipperary is named after a place in Ireland and showcases Irish whiskey. Made in the 1910s, it balances the strong taste of whiskey with sweet vermouth and the special taste of Green Chartreuse.

Sweet Martini

The Sweet Martini is a bit softer twist on the classic Martini. Instead of dry vermouth, it uses sweet vermouth. This change gives a calm drink, a bit herbal and, yes, sweeter. It’s a good choice for those new to Martinis, as it’s more on the sweet side.

Perfect Martini

The Perfect Martini is a twist on the classic Martini. It’s called “perfect” because it uses dry and sweet vermouth in equal parts. This mix makes it balanced, not too sweet or dry and is a great choice for those who like a smooth drink.

Dubonnet Cocktail

The Dubonnet Cocktail is about the special wine called Dubonnet, a fortified wine that mixes wine, herbs, spices, and quinine. Queen Elizabeth II liked it. The drink mixes the herbal taste of Dubonnet with gin, making it a rich and refreshing drink.

Affinity

A side shot of an Affinity cocktail in a cocktail glass on a wooden tray on a wooden table surrounded by a grey cloth, and a jigger

The Affinity is a drink that’s mainly about Scotch whisky. It’s a Manhattan but uses dry and sweet vermouth. Made in the early 1900s, it mixes the strong taste of Scotch with vermouth, giving a strong and smooth drink.

Satan’s Whiskers

With a fun name like Satan’s Whiskers, this drink mixes gin, vermouth, and orange flavors. Where it comes from is a mystery, but it’s a mix of sweet, bitter, and a little bit of citrus. It’s a drink that’s exciting and a bit cheeky.

The Opera

The Opera is a drink that mixes gin, Dubonnet, and a cherry flavor from maraschino liqueur. It was first made in the early 1900s and is a mix of herbal, sweet, and strong flavors. It’s a smooth drink with a kick.

Vermouth Cassis

Vermouth Cassis speaks to those who appreciate their drink’s simplicity and refreshing, fruity notes. This cocktail, popular particularly in France, combines vermouth with crème de cassis (a blackcurrant liqueur), offering a splendidly light and refreshing cocktail.

Negroni Sbagliato

A side shot of a Negroni Sbagliato cocktail in an old fashioned glass on a wooden tray surrounded by a jigger, a bar spoon and a bowl with orange wedges.

Negroni Sbagliato, translating to “Mistaken Negroni” in Italian, was reportedly created when a bartender accidentally used sparkling wine instead of gin while making a Negroni. The resulting cocktail, however, was far from a mistake, offering a lighter, bubbly version of the classic, with the vermouth contributing its signature sweet and herbaceous character.

Boulevardier

A side shot of a Boulevardier cocktail in an old fashioned glass with an orange twist and plant leaves on the side on a brown wooden table, some oranges behind and a yellow wall as background.

The Boulevardier is often called a whisky Negroni, substituting gin with bourbon. This cocktail melds the warm, slightly sweet character of bourbon with the bitter and sweet aspects of Campari and vermouth, respectively, offering a robust, well-rounded cocktail that’s both comforting and complex.

If you are interested in more cocktail recipes; check out our top cocktails page.

Top 5 vermouth brands to use in cocktails

We’ve picked and tried various Vermouth brands for our list, each standing out for its unique flavor and quality. These are the brands we always reach for, perfect for both classic and modern Vermouth-based cocktails.

Martini & Rossi

Martini & Rossi, often just called Martini, is a big name for vermouth. It comes from Italy and is famous for being the main ingredient for the special Martini in James Bond movies. They make different types of vermouth, from sweet to dry, which lets bartenders get creative with  all kinds of drinks.

Cinzano

Cinzano is from Turin, Italy, and they’ve been making vermouth since 1757. They blend tradition and expertise into every bottle.. One of their famous ones is Cinzano Rosso, which is liked for its mix of sweet and herbal tastes. Cinzano is a go-to for many classic drinks because of its rich taste.

Noilly Prat

Noilly Prat comes from the South of France and brings a slightly maritime character derived from its unique aging process near the sea. They’re famous for their Original Dry vermouth, which mixes herbs and spices. Drinking it feels like a trip to a sunny beach in France.

Carpano Antica Formula

Carpano Antica Formula is known for its strong vanilla taste and deep flavors. It’s a top sweet vermouth from Turin, Italy, and it’s assumed to be the first ever made. Its rich flavors, from dried fruits to spices, make it a top pick for fancy drinks.

Dolin

Dolin comes from the French Alps and is liked for its light and slightly sweet vermouth. They make red and dry types, and both taste soft and flowery. Dolin is great for drinks because it adds to them without taking over. It can be the main part of a drink or a small part that makes it better.

Do angostura aromatic bitters play a role in vermouth cocktails?

Yes, angostura aromatic bitters do play a significant role in various vermouth cocktails. It is crafted from a secret blend of tropical herbs and spices. We often use bitters to add depth, complexity, and a balancing bitter touch that really brings out the herbal and sweet flavors of the vermouth.

The image features two bottles of Angostura bitters, one labeled as aromatic and the other as orange, placed on a dark textured surface with a similarly dark background.

A classic example of a cocktail that employs Angostura bitters is the Manhattan. The bitters interact beautifully with the sweet vermouth and whiskey, providing a layered and balanced drinking experience. Another example is the Rob Roy, harmonized with a dash of Angostura bitters. These bitters don’t just add bitterness but also introduce a complex array of subtle flavors, providing a richer and more intricate taste profile.

More Vermouth Cocktails

sweet vermouth cocktails
dry vermouth cocktail
gin vermouth cocktails
red vermouth cocktails
white vermouth cocktails (blanc vermouth)

FAQs

  1. What is vermouth? It is a fortified wine infused with various botanicals, such as herbs, spices, flowers, and bark, providing a unique flavor profile that can be either sweet or dry.
  2. Can vermouth be consumed on its own? Yes, it can be sipped straight or on the rocks as an aperitif and is often enjoyed this way in Europe.
  3. Can I replace dry with sweet vermouth in cocktails? While they can technically be substituted for each other, doing so will significantly alter the cocktail’s flavor profile.
  4. Is there a vermouth cocktail that also contains fruit juice? Yes, the Bronx Cocktail does.
  5. What is a good mixer with vermouth? Tonic water is a great mixer, creating a light and refreshing drink.

Simple Vermouth Cocktails: Martini Recipe (and 27 More!)

Gin Martini Cocktail Drink

Gin Martini Recipe

Andrea Ottaiano Written by Andrea Ottaiano
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Unwind with our classic Gin Martini recipe! Blending gin, dry vermouth, and a twist or olive, this sleek cocktail is a must-try for any sophisticated evening.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 175

Ingredients
 

  • oz Gin
  • ½ oz dry Vermouth
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist or olive - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Martini Glass or Nick & Nora Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Cocktail Shaker or Mixing Glass
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon
  • Strainer

Instructions

  • Chill the Glass: Place your Nick & Nora glass in the freezer or fill it with ice to chill.
  • Add Dry Vermouth: Pour ½ oz dry Vermouth into a mixing glass or a shaker.
  • Add Gin: Measure and pour 2½ oz Gin.
  • Add ice: Ice up the mixing glass or the shaker.
  • Stir or Shake: Stir the mixture gently with a bar spoon. If you prefer a shaken martini, give the shaker a vigorous shake.
  • Strain: Empty the Martini glass (if you've been chilling it with ice) and strain the mixture into the glass.
  • Garnish: Add a lemon twist or olive for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: While I love the botanical flavors of gin in a martini, you can switch to vodka. It gives a more neutral taste, which some people appreciate.
  • Dry Vermouth: No dry vermouth? Try using a splash of white wine. It won't be a classic martini but can serve in a pinch. If you opt for this, a dash of orange bitters can help to enhance the flavor.

Making a Pitcher of Gin Martini:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That's 20 oz of gin and 4 oz of dry vermouth.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the gin and dry vermouth. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled Martini glasses, garnish with a lemon twist or olive, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic gin substitute; several brands are available that mimic gin's unique botanical flavors.
  • Dry Vermouth Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic dry white wine or even a grape juice with a splash of lemon juice.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic Gin Martini.

Making it Vegan:

Most Gin Martinis are already vegan. However, always check the label of your gin and vermouth. Some alcoholic products might use animal-derived fining agents. If you're using olives as a garnish, ensure they aren't stuffed with non-vegan ingredients, such as blue cheese.

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