The Best Sweet Vermouths In 2023

Vermouth isn't quite as popular as white or red wine, but the aromatic elixir can definitely hold its own. Aside from making a formidable aperitif or digestif, vermouth is also a great base for classic cocktails such as a Manhattan or Negroni. So what exactly goes into this versatile sip? 

Vermouth is a wine flavored with botanicals including herbs, spices, seeds, and even flowers, that is then bolstered with alcohol and sugar. While the recipes for vermouth vary, the tipple usually comes with a 15% to 23% alcohol content, as per Brew&Hub.

There are two main types of vermouth: Sweet, or red, vermouth was invented by Antonio Benedetto Carpano in 1786 in Turin, Italy, whereas dry, or white vermouth, had its start in 1813 when it was created by Joseph Noilly in France (via Grapes & Grains). The majority of vermouth producers today specialize in distilling both sweet and dry versions of the libation. A few are even experimenting with new vermouth varieties, such as rosés.

How we selected products

Whether you enjoy your vermouth on the rocks or as an addition to your favorite cocktail, there are certain elements you should take into account before picking up a bottle. After all, not all sweet vermouths are created equal, just like all dry vermouths aren't the same. Different vermouths contain different ingredients, which means that some choices are much sweeter or more full-bodied than others.

Most bartenders worth their salt know that vermouth meant to be enjoyed straight should have a different flavor profile than one that you splash into a glass of soda. And this is precisely why we have divided our roundup of the best sweet vermouths into different categories. We assessed each tipple's recipe — to the extent that this was possible — to help you determine whether it should grace your liquor cabinet and for what purpose. Last but not least, we read expert and consumer reviews to zero in on how each libation rates with vermouth enthusiasts.

Ready to add sweet vermouth to your shopping list? Check out our list of the best sweet vermouths of 2023.

Best overall sweet vermouth

First released in 1891, Cocchi's Storico Vermouth di Torino still follows Giulio Cocchi's original recipe. The young pastry chef created the vermouth with a regional grape variety, setting the bar high (via The recipe combines moscato wine from Piedmont, Italy, and a range of botanicals including citrus, cocoa, rhubarb, and wormwood. Caramelized sugar is added to round out the taste and give the vermouth its amber color. According to Drizly, unlike some other vermouths, the Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino doesn't display caramel or vanilla undertones that could undermine a cocktail.

Complex yet light enough to sip over ice, Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino has been praised on different platforms. Rating it five out of five, refers to the tipple as "one of the gold standards of the vermouth category." Also awarding the vermouth a score of 5 out of 5, BBC Good Food calls it "perfectly rounded," adding that the sharp fruit notes are mellowed by earthy bitterness and menthol, while rosemary gives it an element of freshness.

At the time of this writing, you can purchase the Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino from Drizly starting at $23.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Best sweet vermouth on a budget

At around $10 a bottle, Cinzano Vermouth Rosso is one of the cheaper vermouth offerings on the market. Nevertheless, you shouldn't let the price fool you because this bottle comes with a very solid pedigree. In fact, it was the first vermouth developed by brothers Giovanni Giacomo Cinzano and Carlo Stefano in the 18th century, as explained by Difford's Guide. Also sometimes called the vermouth of Turin, Cinzano Vermouth Rosso blends Italian red wine, alcohol, sugar, and as many as 35 herbs and spices such as nutmeg, cloves, and thyme.

Despite its low price, Cinzano is highly recommended by Tastings, which rates it 88 out of 100. More specifically, the platform describes the vermouth as delicious, complex, and sweet with a hint of bitterness. Vermouth enthusiasts have also praised the drink on Drizly, giving it 4.7 out of 5 stars. Perhaps one Drizly shopper sums it up best, writing: "Very well balanced vermouth for sipping or adding to your favorite cocktail."

At the time of this writing, you can purchase Cinzano Vermouth Rosso from Drizly starting at $9.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Best sweet vermouth for a splurge

Outstanding on the rocks or in cocktails, Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth still follows the recipe invented by Antonio Benedetto Carpano in 1786 in Turin. And while the recipe in question is currently only entrusted to three people, including the president of the Fratelli Branca distillery that produces the libation (per BBC Good Food), there are a few aspects about the tipple that we do know.

Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth is produced with white Italian wines from Puglia, Romagna, and Sicily. Two of the other ingredients that give this drink its unique flavor profile include Iranian saffron and vanilla beans from Madagascar. The amber elixir comes with aromas of cherries, vanilla, dark chocolate, orange zest, and cloves. The palate exudes chocolate and citrus with notes of spices. The final product comes in individually numbered replicas of the old Carpano bottle (via Difford's Guide).

At the time of this writing, you can purchase Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth from Drizly starting at $36.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Best white sweet vermouth

As Vinepair explains, dry vermouth is necessarily white but white vermouth can be sweet or dry. Dolin Blanc Vermouth de Chambéry falls into the latter category, featuring the distinct white color of dry vermouth without actually being dry in flavor. This style is also known as bianco, which translates to white in Italian.

Setting the benchmark for sweet white vermouth, Dolin Blanc Vermouth de Chambéry is "simple, clean, and expertly designed," as Wine Dharma describes. This being said, there's nothing basic about the French tipple's distillation process — the vermouth is infused with 56 ingredients including herbs and spices. According to the Dolin website, Dolin Blanc Vermouth de Chambéry exudes aromas of Alpine botanicals with hints of citrus and camphor.

At the time of this writing, you can purchase the Dolin Blanc Vermouth de Chambéry from Drizly starting at $16.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Best American sweet vermouth

The brainchild of Cory Fitzsimmons, the former head bartender at New York's Union Square Cafe, Method Spirits Sweet Vermouth is a great alternative to its Italian and French counterparts. Infused with 29 different botanicals, the libation is made in the image of classic Italian vermouths with both local and imported ingredients. It also features wine and brandy from the Finger Lakes region in New York. The final product is a pleasant drink that exudes warm spices and caramelized citrus amid herbal and floral notes (via Drizly).

Method Spirits Sweet Vermouth is ideal for cocktails. In fact, Fitzsimmons developed the sip because he was unable to find local substitutes for Italian vermouths to mix in his cocktails. He has certainly succeeded according to The New York Times, which comments that a splash of Method Spirits Sweet Vermouth is bound to make "your Manhattan [...] blossom with a whiff of bark, dried fennel, toasted hazelnuts, and honey."

At the time of this writing, you can purchase Method Spirits Sweet Vermouth from Drizly starting at $20.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Best sweet vermouth for mixing with soda

With "one point of sweetness and half a point of bitterness," Carpano's Punt E Mes makes the perfect addition to a glass of refreshing soda and ice. Of course, it's also a firm favorite as a base for cocktails or straight on the rocks. Translated as point and a half, the name Punt E Mes comes with a very special story. It's said that the tipple originated in 1870 after a regular customer at the Carpano wine shop in Turin ordered his vermouth with half a measure of bitters. It wasn't long before the drink became a popular pre-lunch aperitif. Even the founder of FIAT, Giovanni Agnelli, became enamored with the libation.

Today, the flavorful dark brown sip remains bold and unapologetic and this is precisely what makes it such a great pairing with soda. Drink Hacker goes as far as comparing Carpano Punt E Mes to amaro, a bittersweet Italian liqueur. According to the platform, the sip features a full body characterized by cloves, bitter orange, and quinine, as well as hints of cola, coffee, prunes, citrus, and gingerbread.

At the time of this writing, you can purchase Carpano Punt E Mes from Drizly starting at $26.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Best sweet vermouth for a Negroni

A staple at many bars, Martini & Rossi Rosso sweet vermouth makes a perfect base for classic cocktails including a Negroni. And while its exact recipe remains a secret, the vermouth features an intensely herbal flavor profile with notes of sage, dittany, and exotic woods. According to Drizly, the vermouth is also distilled with artemisia wormwood. Meanwhile, Difford's Guide speculates that the sip gets its red-brown color thanks to the addition of caramel.

Joe's Happy Hour tested Martini & Rossi Rosso sweet vermouth in a Negroni, mixing it with one part Campari and one part London Dry Gin, with very satisfying results. In fact, the reviewer has called it their favorite vermouth for a Negroni, highlighting that it makes a terrific and balanced cocktail. Difford's Guide echoes this sentiment and includes Martini & Rossi Rosso sweet vermouth in its Negroni recipe alongside Rutter Dry Gin and Italian red bitter liqueur.

At the time of this writing, you can purchase Martini & Rossi's Rosso sweet vermouth from Drizly starting at $10.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Best sweet vermouth for a Manhattan

Crafted from orange muscat, tinta roriz, and white wine grapes, as well as 17 spices and herbs, Vya sweet vermouth is produced at the Quady winery in California. Balancing sweet and bitter elements, the libation makes a great addition to cocktails, including a Manhattan as highlighted by the product page. For the recipe, the platform recommends mixing one part Vya sweet vermouth with two parts whiskey, deviating from the classic Manhattan recipe, which mixes one part vermouth with three parts whiskey.

Difford's Guide describes Vya sweet vermouth as "elegant and intriguing," adding that the tipple features notes of ripe fruit, cherries, berries, sloes, and damsons. The outlet also highlights that this blend results in a libation with lightly honeyed sweetness. One Drizly shopper, in turn, says that they appreciate the vermouth's flavorful herbal mix, urging others to try it.

At the time of this writing, you can purchase Vya sweet vermouth from Drizly starting at $24.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Best rosé sweet vermouth

If you're looking for a classic sweet vermouth, then La Madre rosé vermouth isn't for you. The founders of La Madre are quick to admit that they like to do things a little differently. "We do not like to follow rules [...] This is freestyle, it is about questioning everything every day, this is about creating a new benchmark in the exciting world of aperitifs" they explain on La Madre's website.

So how does the La Madre rosé vermouth manage to stand out from the crowd? Reddish-pink in color — just like the bottle it comes in — the drink is macerated with strawberries and infused with 32 botanicals. The Spanish rosé vermouth is also blended with regional white grenache and macabeo grapes, as per Glass Revolution Imports. The youthful libation features aromas of strawberries, licorice, citrus, cinnamon, and sweet cane. Initially sweet in flavor, each sip comes with slightly bitter lingering afternotes thanks to the addition of wormwood and orange peel.

At the time of this writing, you can purchase La Madre rosé vermouth from Drizly starting at $28.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle.