So you want to start enjoying Vermouth...
Vermouth is a fortified wine that is seasoned with spices and herbs. It comes in two styles, i.e. dry vermouth and sweet vermouth. Dry vermouth is whitish in colour as compared to its counterpart, which is red in colour.
Dry vermouth was first produced in France around 1800. It is floral and dry and commonly used to make martinis. Like Amaro, it was originally used for medicinal purposes.
Later, it became a celebrated aperitif which is served with a twist of citrus. It is mixed in cocktails like Manhattan. Eventually, it’s found its permanent home at the bar when it linked with the most iconic dry vermouth cocktails, such as classic Martinis.
It works beautifully in a lot of cocktails and can come in handy when you are running low on white wine. Here’s everything you need to know about dry vermouth.
We independently research, test, and recommend the best products just for you. In order to keep this site going, we may receive commissions on some of the purchases made from the links below.
What is dry vermouth?
Dry vermouth is known as French vermouth, and its ‘dry’ name signifies the flavour profile of dry vermouth. This aromatized fortified wine is often clear or has pale-yellow colour. It is flavoured with various flowers, herbs, seeds, roots, spices and barks.
This botanical blend pairs with gin and makes cocktails like martinis. The flavours and aromas in dry vermouth can vary which depends on the vermouth brand and style. It comes with an invigorating flavour profile with a dry finish. Like white wine, it is fruity, herbal floral on the nose.
Why Use it?
It is typically used as a key ingredient in cocktails because it is more flavorful than a wine due to its herbs and botanical profile. It is slightly high in alcohol and fortified with neutral liquor or brandy.
With cocktails, you can even use it in cooking; the herbs in dry vermouth make it a great ingredient in sauces for sea-food dishes, especially fish dishes or even use it as a margination due to its herbs profile.
How to use Dry Vermouth
Make It a Spritz
If you like white wine spritzers, you can make it more delicious when spiked with dry vermouth. Here the key is to adjust the ratio, mic four ounces of soda and mix two ounces of dry vermouth instead of 50-50 blend. To give a fruity boost, squeeze in a slice of grapefruit or orange or muddle strawberries.
Use dry vermouth as a Base in Low ABV Cocktails.
This fortified wine is not just for Martinis? It is as versatile as it is complicated. You don’t need to be mixed it with any spirit to improve the flavour of the cocktail. You can be mixed with lime juice or even with citrusy orange liqueur to create a Queen Elizabeth cocktail.
Or blend it with orange bitter, maraschino liqueur and sherry to get a coronation cocktail to satisfy your deep craving. Give yourself a royal treat with a triple dose of the coronation with a Queen Elizabeth cocktail while watching the historical drama series The Crown. Not too much, right?
Use it in Your Cooking
If you are looking for a cooking repertoire, it can be a great addition. Try to use it in your cooking and start stirring dry vermouth into new dishes. For instance, seared scallops are a great recipe to try with dry vermouth. It is served with vermouth savoury sauce and pea puree.
Brands of Dry Vermouth
There’s no doubt that vermouth is one of the underrated spirits. However, it is a key ingredient in many cocktails. It is technically fortified aromatized wine infused with herbs and botanicals, but this savoury sipper can go the limits.
If you are a huge fan of herbaceous drinks, classic martini might be your favourite, and dry vermouth is its main component. Here are some dry vermouth brands for every sipping circumstance. Set your home bar with these best-branded bottles of dry vermouth.
Dolin Dry Vermouth
When it comes to the best dry vermouth brands, Dolin dry vermouth is included in the list of top brands for dry vermouth. Its popularity rose during the blooming of Parisian café culture in the late 19th century.
Today, this brand holds a strong presence in bars all over the world. It is based in southeast France, which is the originating country of this fortified wine with a strong vermouth heritage. It is usually produced in small batches with a blend of local botanicals and gives you a direr mouthfeel. Dolin Dry vermouth offers great flavour with a freshness of menthol, citrusy palate and herbal finish.
Martini & Rossi
If you talk about dry vermouth brands, the much-celebrated brand is Martini & Rossi, which is synonymous with dry vermouth. It is an Italian alcoholic brand that is associated with the Martini brand of vermouth.
Its dry vermouth is made with a variety of exotic and local botanicals. With balanced and light vermouth, it is an affordable choice that makes it the first choice to make a vodka martini.
Ransom Dry Vermouth
Unlike Cazino and Dolin, Ransom is an American dry vermouth brand that was found in 1997. They changed the traditional approach and introduced botanical infusion in dry vermouth.
This botanical infusion includes a lot of organic ingredients such as archangel root, chamomile, burdock root, star anise, verbena and more. It comes with a bittersweet flavour profile, spice cabinet heart with a citrus finish.
Noilly Prat Extra Dry
This is classic French dry vermouth. Noilly Prat extra dry is crisp, savoury and dry all at once. It is different from dry bottling and made with Clairette wine. Noilly Prat dry vermouth is infused with 20 different botanicals and herbs, which include nutmeg, chamomile, bitter orange and gentian.
The best thing about this brand is that you can sip it straight dye to its buttery palate with cedar, sage and wet stone notes. It adds a unique savoury depth in a martini, especially when infused with onion skin ash.
Carpano Dry Vermouth
Italian and French Vermouth are the best, but Italians literally nailed it. It’s all due to age-old recipes and natural processes that make them a great choice either you make a cocktail or use it in cooking.
Carpano dry vermouth is the quintessential Italian brand for vermouth with more than 230 years of perfection in their craft. Their flavour profiles make their dry vermouth more unique in character.
Where to buy it?
Can you drink dry vermouth straight?
This fortified wine gets a bad reputation as a secondary ingredient in the classic martini. However, it is versatile enough and can stand on its own. It made a great comeback in cocktail culture as an aperitif. Now it is drunk straight as an aperitif which is delicious enough to be drunk solo.
If we talk about its origin country, i.e. France, people drink it as an aperitif with a lemon twist or an orange twist with sweet vermouth.
What is the best dry vermouth for a dirty martini?
Dirty Martini is a garnished martini as compared to the traditional martini, which contains olive juice, a splash of olives and garnished with olives. If you’re a lover of a dirty martini, Carpano is the best dry mouth for a dirty martini.
It comes with bright citrus and floral notes. The residual sugar in its Blanc vermouth makes it a great match for olive brine in a dirty martini.
What is good dry vermouth?
When it comes to good dry vermouth, Dolin is probably the best. It comes from dry vermouth’s originating country, France. Dolin dry vermouth is produced with at least 30 infused botanicals.
It is more like an aromatic floral white wine. It acts as a great supporting actor for your clean or dirty martini. Even it works wonders with or without bitters. It is so versatile; you can do anything.
What makes vermouth dry?
Its flavour profile makes vermouth dry, and it contains up to 5% sugar. It is low in tannins and infused with herbs, flowers and spices, which tend to be more herbal and savoury than fruity. It comes with a bracingly dry finish.
Dry vermouth is famously known as the key component in the martini, but dry vermouth is not for martinis. You can drink it on its own. Due to flavour profile, complexities and varying styles, every pour promises something delicious and exciting. This fortified wine is so versatile that it can be a great addition to myriad cocktails from white Negronis to the Brooklyn.
Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.
This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!