The Best Dry Vermouths Of 2023

Every respectable bar will have a bottle of vermouth on hand, but despite its pivotal role in mixology, this aromatic wine-based tipple rarely makes it to the trendiest drink of the year list and is often wrongfully underestimated or completely left out of the global beverage talk.

Vermouth is best described as an aromatized and fortified wine. It comes in three classic styles — red, white, and dry — which primarily differ in the selection of base wines and the sugar level. Red vermouth is the sweetest and usually has a slightly heavier and spicier character compared to two other styles based on white wine. And while bianco (white) vermouth also packs some sugar — of varying degrees — dry vermouth is, as its name suggests, a vermouth that contains little to no added sugar and therefore falls in the dry category (via Wine Folly).

Though it doesn't amp up the sweetness, dry vermouth will balance out the flavors and add complexity, depth, and a different aromatic profile. As it's low in alcohol by volume (ABV), but still stronger than wine, it helps tone down potent spirits and drinks without bringing in any syrupy or cloying characteristics. Dry vermouth is elegant and subtle, but it has enough power to act as an adhesive that somehow effortlessly manages to hold every drink together. Though its role in cocktails is exceptional, vermouth also works on its own, preferably served on the rocks or with a splash of soda.

How we selected the products

When compiling the list, we first looked at some reliable labels to see if the name and popularity were possible signals of quality. Professional reviews were used to support or drop the choices, and the final confirmation came from user reviews and their personal experience that helped shed light on how to use a particular brand.

In the end, it came down to the overall characteristics of each bottle. Though all featured labels roughly fall in the same category, even the most subtle differences can have significant effect on a drink. Each producer has a particular style they want to cherish or a specific quality they wish to emphasize and allow to shine through and dominate. This means that some will come packed with green, vegetal, and herbal notes, and others will rely on heavier, spice-forward qualities.

The list is dominated by Italian and French labels, which have the longest and the strongest dry vermouth tradition, but the market has been recently bombarded with exciting examples coming from Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. If you want to explore the fantastic world of dry vermouths, you should start here, with the list of the best labels in 2023.

Best overall – Dolin Vermouth De Chambéry Dry

Dolin Dry Vermouth came out on the top of the list as the most reliable choice and the perfect all-rounder that is synonymous with high quality and consistency. As one of the heavyweights in the category, it is widely available and is one of the best value labels.

Dolin Dry is made with white wine base that is infused with 15 herbs and spices. The aromatic mix uses wormwood as the original vermouth botanical and blends it with other plants such as verbena and brooklime. Roses add a dash of floral notes, while the orange bark provides a touch of citrus and earthiness. In the world of aromatic vermouths, 15 botanicals may be considered relatively modest, but the number speaks of a nice balance between the wine and the added aromatics. Dolin is clean and precise. It's not harsh or overpowering, so you can liberally use it in most cocktails that call for dry vermouth. You can expect herbaceous and citrusy aromas mixed with minerality and subtle bitterness reminiscent of citrus peel and almonds. The approachable character allows Dolin to blend into every cocktail, but it still has enough body and flavor to effortlessly stand on its own as an outstanding aperitif.

Dolin Vermouth De Chambéry Dry is available from Total Wine, starting at $15.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Best to drink neat – Cocchi Vermouth di Torino Extra Dry

We often don't give vermouth the credit it deserves. Most people will consider it an excellent cocktail ingredient, but it has fantastic potential outside mixology. Though European by origin, vermouth became a big name in the cocktail business primarily due to some classic cocktails that emerged on American soil. In the European drinking narrative, vermouth was created as an aperitif wine, and the tradition of sipping it neat is still present in most vermouth-loving countries (via Vermouth 101). Though sweet varieties are often considered superior for drinking neat, dry vermouth can also make a great stand-alone drink, on the condition that you choose the right bottle, and in this case, the Cocchi Extra Dry would be your best choice.

Cocchi is a Piedmont-style vermouth, so expect a fragrant and complex drink with a distinctive alpine character. The base wine is made from Cortese grapes, and the final aromatic profile is rounded with wormwood, Pancalieri mint, lemon, angelica root, coriander, and cardamom. It is described as "elegant" and perfect to enjoy on its own. Wine Enthusiast mentions freshness on the nose and the palate, adding that it is "zippy and remarkably light." This is the dry vermouth that would certainly work in a cocktail, but it could be even better on its own, served neat or on the rocks.

You can currently get a 500-milliliter bottle of Cocchi Vermouth di Torino Extra Dry at Union Square Wines and Spirits for $18.99.

Best for a spritzer - La Quintinye Extra Dry Vermouth Royal

Spritzer is a straightforward mix of wine and soda that has its roots in Europe, though no one can agree which nation was the first to turn wine into a bubbly drink. According to Vine Pair, in its basic form, a classic spritzer will incorporate wine and soda without any other additions, creating the simplest version of a refreshing summer cocktail. In the vermouth-based edition, you will replace wine with vermouth then top it with soda, creating a potentially superior spritz version that won't feel weak or watered down. As vermouth has more body and a higher ABV, the splash of soda will turn it down a notch, but you will still be able to taste its complexity and intense aromas.

For this version, the best option is a bottle of La Quintinye Extra Dry Vermouth Royal. The base of this vermouth is made with different white wines and Pineau des Charentes aperitif. The blend is then aromatized with 27 botanicals. Difford's Guide lists wormwood, warming spices, ginger, quinine, and licorice as some of the flavorings. On the nose, this vermouth will show prominent herbaceous and spicy notes, and the flavor will reflect the aroma with an added bitter touch. La Quintinye is a dry and intense vermouth, but with a splash of soda, it turns into a mellow drink that would make an excellent aperitif.

Purchase La Quintinye Extra Dry Vermouth Royal from Total Wine starting at $25.99.

Best with tonic - Ransom Dry Vermouth

Ransom Dry Vermouth is the wildcard on the list as it's the only one that doesn't come from the traditional line of Italian and French vermouths. This American label blends several white grapes for its wine blend and uses house-made brandy to fortify it. The flavor is then adjusted with aromatic botanicals that mostly rely on European tradition. Wine Enthusiast gave Ransom 91 points, describing the aroma as "distinctly floral," complemented by some honey and spice-like notes. The flavor is described as bitter-sweet and "extremely herbaceous," rounded with a citrusy finish. Whiskey Exchange mentions that 14 different herbs and spices were used to shape Ranson's profile. They suggest cocktails as the ideal choice for Ransom Dry but agree that a tonic would be an excellent mixer.

Tonic water is best known for its prominent bitterness, which at first can seem a bit overpowering, but under the dominant flavor, there is a medley of citrusy and spice-like aromas. This is why tonic is such a suitable combination with gin. In this legendary cocktail, the bitterness works perfectly with gin's herbaceous profile, and the similar aromatics complement each other well. In the world of vermouth, Ransom stands out for its distinctive herbal notes and citrus-forward flavor that would nicely pair with the splash of tonic. The semi-sweet profile and the bubbles would help to balance things out.

You can get Ransom Dry Vermouth at Drizly starting at $32.49 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Best for a Dry Martini - Noilly Prat Original Dry

Dry vermouth is almost synonymous with the martini, a legendary cocktail that helped vermouth to become a staple at most bars. For the classic martini, you will use only three ingredients; gin, dry vermouth, and a lemon twist. The combination is mixed and strained in a coupe or a martini glass. Martini is a straightforward, unpretentious cocktail with clean flavors that have nowhere to hide, so you want to use only the best ingredients. For the ultimate version, go for the Dry Martini, in which the standard ratio, according to IBA, is 6:1 in favor of gin, so you want that small amount of vermouth to pierce through.

For this reason, you need vermouth of exceptional quality, and Noilly Prat Original Dry is the most obvious choice. Flavored with 20 botanicals, this vermouth allows the floral notes to dominate while the spicy and earthy tones show up in the background. Master of Malt describes its flavor as "very herbal" and mentions a distinctively dry and long finish. This superb vermouth would be able to match gin's intensity, and the similar profiles would work wonderfully in a stirred martini.

You can purchase Noilly Prat Original Dry Vermouth at Drizly, starting at $12.38 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Best for a Wet Martini - Routin Dry Vermouth

Though it might seem confusing, adding more dry vermouth to a martini will reduce the overall dryness, and you will get a slightly sweeter combination known as a wet martini. Dine With Drinks clarifies that while the classic Dry Martini uses the 6:1 ratio of gin and vermouth, resulting in a dry, simple cocktail, the wet martini will amp up the vermouth, resulting in a sweeter and less dry mix. As vermouth will make a bigger part of the drink, you should use something with enough character but subtle and preferably not overly sweet, so it would not overpower and clash with gin.

Vermouth Routin Dry would be an excellent choice for a wet martini. This vermouth has a distinctively dry palate and potent alpine aromatics, which are supported with some floral kick. The flavors of the vermouth would come through nicely but still leave room for gin to show off its personality. Wine Enthusiast mentions tropical and vanilla notes, accompanied with just a hint of sweetness and a zippy, bright finish.

A 750-milliliter bottle of Vermouth Routin Dry is available at Drizly starting at $18.99.

Best for a Dirty Martini – Carpano Dry

The dirty martini is a spin on the classic version that combines dry vermouth, olive brine, and a spirit of choice — though gin is more traditional, vodka provides a more neutral flavor. Of course, olives are the essential garnish to every dirty martini. As this combination can be swamped with flavor, you need a vermouth with enough backbone that it will be able to stand as an equal partner with olive brine and gin (or vodka).

Wine Folly calls Carpano "the father of the vermouth," and the reason is simple: Carpano was the first to add spices and spirits into wine to make vermouth. The original version was the sweet red vermouth, but the company also has the dry version, which would be the best option to add to a dirty martini. Carpano Dry is a masterfully crafted vermouth with a complex nose that delivers a medley of herbal, citrusy, earthy, and spicy aromas. On the palate, the base wine will come through, accompanied by a refreshing flavor that ends with tart, citrusy nuances. Wine & Spirits Magazine praises its blending properties, claiming that it mixes easily and is the right choice if you want to add more vermouth to your cocktail.

Carpano Dry Vermouth is available from Total Wine, starting at $22.99 for a 1-liter bottle.

Best for the Perfect Manhattan – Bordiga Extra Dry Vermouth

The legendary Manhattan is probably the best-known cocktail made with sweet (red) vermouth. This fantastic combination of whisky and aromatic sweetness from red vermouth results in a cocktail that oozes richness and complexity. If you find the blend a tad overpowering, the Perfect Manhattan will better suit your taste. As Liquor explains, this spin on the classic Manhattan version adds dry vermouth to the mix, and the suggested "perfect" ratio is equal parts red and dry vermouth.

Adding dry vermouth will help balance out that powerful, brawny Manhattan character, and it would work best with very dry, bold vermouth. Bordiga Extra Dry is the best choice to add to a Perfect Manhattan to attain that ideal harmony. Cream Wine explains that the white wine base of this vermouth is aromatized with 30 local and internationally sourced herbs and spices, so expect plenty of complex aromas and a sturdy and rich palate. This is the vermouth whose character would be able to match rye whiskey and red vermouth.

You can purchase Bordiga Extra Dry Vermouth on Drizly, starting at $30.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Best dry vermouth to cook with - Martini & Rossi Extra Dry

Vermouth's role in the kitchen is often not taken seriously, but this aromatic drink can easily improve your culinary game. Escoffier explains that vermouth is a wine-based product, so it's easy to define its culinary purpose — use it whenever you'd want to add white wine. This means you can pour it into marinades, add it to sauces, or use it to deglaze all those pan juices. For the best dry vermouth to cook with, go for a bottle of Martini & Rossi Extra Dry.

Martini & Rossi doesn't need much introduction. This legendary Italian producer is a household label and perhaps the most recognizable name in the vermouth world. Their vermouths are usually consistently good and certainly one of the most reliable on the market. Martini & Rossi's Extra Dry is part of its classic line. It is a well-crafted vermouth that nicely balances floral notes with citrusy and earthy nuances. Difford's Guide describes the aroma as "delicate," dominated by fruit and complimented by a touch of honey, while the palate remains reasonably dry with tart, floral, and earthy nuances. This vermouth is not flashy and loud and would perform well as a cooking ingredient as it would deliver flavor but not take over the entire dish.

Martini & Rossi Extra Dry Vermouth is available at Drizly, starting at $10.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Best semi-dry – Carpano Bianco

Bianco is a vermouth style that falls somewhere between sweet (red) and dry vermouth. In appearance, bianco, or blanc as it's called in France, resembles dry vermouth but traditionally has a more approachable, mellow character with less spice in the aroma. It usually holds more sweetness and is often classified as semi-dry, though the sugar level varies across the style (via Cocktail Party App). This is a vermouth that you can use in cocktails or sip neat, and one of the finest versions comes from the legendary Italian producer Carpano.

Carpano Bianco has a subtle yellow hue and perfectly combines wine-dominated character with botanical elements. You will find citrus and tropical fruit, along with some subtle cocoa or almond-like bitterness and a mineral touch that helps to balance out all the sweetness and fruity aromas. This is a go-to vermouth for anyone who finds dry vermouth too astringent and restrictive. Carpano Bianco easily blends in cocktails, but the friendly-drinking profile makes it an excellent option to drink over rocks or with a splash of tonic or soda.

Carpano Bianco is available at Drizly, starting at $27.49 for a 1-liter bottle.

Best extra dry – Cinzano 1757 Vermouth di Torino Extra Dry

Cinzano is a legendary Italian vermouth producer whose classic range includes the standard red, dry, and bianco styles. The premium 1757 Vermouth di Torino category is reserved for the two finest labels, the spice-packed sweet Rosso and the Extra Dry version which is easily the best label in the entire extra dry category.

The extra dry designation indicates that the vermouth will have even less sweetness than the standard dry vermouth. As there is no sugar to cover up the faults, these examples are typically well-built, clean, and bright. Cinzano's Extra Dry reveals herbal and floral notes in the primary aromas and closes with a subtle touch of spices. The palate is completely dry and well-balanced with juicy minerality and herbaceous flavor. This vermouth is packed with green and vegetal notes reminiscent of the Mediterranean shrub. It should be savored, but it's also a perfect choice for a dry martini.

Purchase Cinzano 1757 Vermouth di Torino Extra Dry on Drizly, starting from $32.99 for a 1-liter bottle.