Sweet Vermouth vs Dry Vermouth

Vermouth is a fortified wine that has been around for centuries, and it is an essential ingredient in many classic cocktails.


Vermouth comes in two main styles: sweet vermouth and dry vermouth. Sweet vermouth is made with a red or white wine base that is then sweetened with sugar and flavored with various botanicals. On the other hand, dry vermouth is made with a white wine base and is typically less sweet than sweet vermouth.

The difference between sweet and dry vermouth lies in the flavor profile and sweetness levels. Sweet vermouth is richer and fruitier, with notes of dark fruits, vanilla, and caramel. It is typically used in cocktails that require a sweeter profile, such as the Manhattan or Negroni.

In contrast, dry vermouth has a more herbaceous and floral flavor profile, with notes of citrus and spices. It is used in cocktails that require a drier profile, such as the Martini or Gibson.

Understanding Vermouth

Vermouth is a type of aromatized, fortified wine that is flavored with botanicals, herbs, and spices.


It is typically used as an aperitif or as an ingredient in cocktails. Vermouth is made by infusing wine with a variety of herbs and spices, including wormwood, which gives it its characteristic bitterness.

There are two main types of vermouth: sweet vermouth and dry vermouth. Sweet vermouth, also known as red vermouth, is made with a base of red wine and is sweetened with sugar. It has a rich, fruity flavor and is often used in cocktails that call for a sweet, flavorful ingredient.

Dry vermouth, on the other hand, is made with a base of white wine and is not sweetened. It has a more subtle flavor and is often used in cocktails that require a drier, more neutral ingredient.

Vermouth is an important ingredient in many classic cocktails, including the Manhattan, the Martini, and the Negroni. It is also commonly used in cooking, particularly in Italian cuisine, where it is often used to flavor sauces and marinades.

When choosing a vermouth for cocktails or cooking, it is important to consider the flavor profile of the vermouth and how it will complement the other ingredients in the recipe. Sweet vermouth is best paired with bold, flavorful spirits like whiskey or gin, while dry vermouth is better suited to more delicate, nuanced cocktails.

Sweet Vermouth

Sweet vermouth is a fortified wine that contains more sugar than its dry counterpart.


It is often described as having a rich, sweet, and fruity flavor with notes of dark fruits, vanilla, and caramel. It is typically used in cocktails that require a sweeter profile, such as the Manhattan or the Negroni.

Italian sweet vermouth is often referred to as “red vermouth” due to its reddish-brown color. One of the most popular Italian sweet vermouths is Vermouth di Torino, which is made with a blend of herbs, spices, and botanicals. Carpano Antica and Cocchi are other popular brands of Italian sweet vermouth.

Punt e Mes is a sweet vermouth that is slightly more bitter than other sweet vermouths due to the addition of quinine. This makes it a great choice for cocktails that require a balance of sweetness and bitterness.

Sweet vermouth is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of cocktails. It is often used in classic cocktails such as Martinis, Manhattans, and Negronis. When using sweet vermouth in a cocktail, it is important to balance the sweetness with other ingredients to avoid an overly sweet drink.

Dry Vermouth

Dry vermouth, also known as white vermouth or French vermouth, is a fortified wine that is flavored with botanicals, including herbs, spices, and sometimes citrus. It is typically pale in color, ranging from clear to light gold, and has a dry, crisp taste.


Dry vermouth is often used as an ingredient in cocktails, particularly in classic cocktails like the martini. It pairs well with gin, vodka, and tequila, and is often used to add a subtle herbal or floral note to a drink.

The flavor profile of dry vermouth can vary depending on the specific brand and recipe, but it is generally more herbaceous and citrusy than sweet vermouth. Common botanicals used in dry vermouth include juniper, coriander, sage, and hyssop.

When using dry vermouth in cocktails, it is important to keep in mind that a little goes a long way. A splash of dry vermouth can add depth and complexity to a drink, but too much can overpower the other flavors.

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