20 best Vermouth Cocktails
Words by Jane Ryan
Vermouth is one of the most utilised cocktail ingredients when it comes to anything stirred, but as often as recipes call for it, it usually plays a supporting role to strong and domineering spirits. Below are our favourite vermouth-forward drinks which allow the aromatised wine to step into the spotlight.
With: Old Tom gin, dry vermouth, orange bitters.
We say: An Old Tom-based super wet (two-thirds vermouth to one-third gin) Martini with a slug of orange bitters and served with a twist.
Two Guns Miller
With: Reposado tequila (100% agave), rosso vermouth, Pamplemousse rosé (pink grapefruit) liqueur, cinnamon syrup, Xocolatl mole bitters.
We say: Sweet vermouth rounds while pink grapefruit liqueur freshens reposado tequila with gentle but enlivening cinnamon spice and faint bitter chocolate.
Fruit Cup Spritz
With: Prosecco sparkling wine, bianco vermouth, triple sec liqueur, rosso vermouth, soda (club soda) water.
We say: A light summery spritz with flavours reminiscent of Pimm's.
With: Blended Scotch whisky, vermouth amaro, dry vermouth, Angostura bitters.
We say: A spirituous aperitif-style cocktail, or an after dinner sipper, which can be made with numerous different sweet vermouths or indeed a vermouth amaro as per our recipe. Also consider using a single malt Scotch - your choice could dramatically change this drink's profile.
With: Manzanilla sherry, amontillado sherry, rosso vermouth, dry vermouth, vanilla sugar syrup, orange bitters
We say: This delicious stirred cocktail combines two sherries and two vermouths with faint vanilla richness balanced by pronounced orange bitters.
With: Light rum, bianco vermouth, lime juice, sugar syrup, mint leaves, prosecco sparkling wine.
We say: A light mojito made more complex with bianco vermouth.
With: London dry gin, palo cortado sherry, dry vermouth, rosso vermouth, orange bitters.
We say: Your choice of sherry greatly affects the finished cocktail so we ummm'd and ahhhh'd between dry oloroso, palo cortado, and amontillado sherries before settling on the slightly richer palo cortado, but any of these sherries produce a delicious cocktail.
Satan's Whiskers (straight)
With: London dry gin, dry vermouth, rosso vermouth, Grand Marnier, orange juice, orange bitters.
We say: Dry and citrusy with underlying herbal complexity. The London bar named after this classic further brightened it with a 5ml addition of both lemon and sugar syrup - which we'd recommend to make the orange juice pop.
With: Rosso vermouth, oloroso sherry, orange bitters.
We say: Delicate, off-dry and aromatic. A great aperitif cocktail.
Tuxedo Cocktail (Difford's Recipe)
With: Old tom gin, rosso vermouth, bianco vermouth, maraschino liqueur, absinthe verte, Angostura bitters, Orange bitters.
We say: Inspired by the numerous other Tuxedo recipes, this combines the best of them all (besides the sherry) but with a faint hint of sweetness to balance generous dashes of absinthe and bitters.
With: Blanco tequila (100% agave), bianco vermouth, optional Margarita Bitters.
We say: A 2:1 Dry Martini that's like no gin or vodka comparison – it's arguably better.
Bamboo (Joaquín Simó's Recipe)
With:Fino sherry, dry vermouth, sugar syrup, Angostura bitters, orange bitters.
We say: Dry, delicate. Aromatic and complex.
Grassoide Ferro Cocktail
With: London dry gin, Ferro China Baliva quinine liqueur, bianco vermouth, Angostura bitters.
We say: This simple but brilliantly complex aperitif-cum-digestif cocktail dates from the 1930s when it, and most other cocktails were shaken. Don't allow modern bartending convention to stir such a cocktail influence you.
With: White overproof rum, bianco vermouth, pineapple juice, lime juice, vanilla sugar, dash absinthe verte.
We say: Like a rum-laced pineapple cream soda served with a wedge of lime.
Gin Blossom Martini
With: London dry gin, bianco vermouth, apricot eau-de-vie, orange bitters.
We say: Fragrant apricot eau-de-vie nestles alongside piney gin botanicals with faint sweetness from herbal vermouth.
Bijou (Difford's Recipe)
With: London dry gin, rosso vermouth, Green Chartreuse, orange bitters.
We say: It is not uncommon to see this drink stipulated with equal parts gin, Chartreuse and sweet vermouth, as called for by Harry Johnson. Equal parts works, but it makes for a drink strong enough to drop a rhinoceros with Chartreuse overly dominant (and we love Chartreuse).
With:Blended Scotch whisky, rosso vermouth, Bénédictine D.O.M. liqueur, Peychaud's bitters, absinthe.
We say: This recipe combines elements from the world's most respected writers of vintage recipes.
With:Rosso vermouth, dry vermouth, soda water.
We say: Substituting vermouths (go high-end) dramatically alters the character of this light and easy aperitivo.
Bamboo (Difford's Recipe)
With:Fino sherry, rosso vermouth, dry vermouth, orange bitters.
We say: Sweet vermouth counters dry sherry with dry vermouth further enhancing the vinous flavours and balance. Orange bitters and an orange zest twist add citrus freshness and enhances the delicate bittersweet balance.
With:Reposado tequila (100% agave), orange curaçao liqueur, dry vermouth, mezcal.
We say: The classic recipe is equal parts tequila, curaçao and dry vermouth, but we like to add a touch more mellowing vermouth and then kick it back up again with the merest splash of smoky mezcal. This adaption was influenced by Jason E. Clapham, who recommended this cocktail to us with the addition of 5ml / 1 spoon of Wray & Nephew overproof rum to give "a bump" to original equal parts recipe.
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