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5 Dry Vermouth Cocktails Worth Sipping

Dry vermouth may be sweet vermouth’s less popular cousin but don’t rule out this integral ingredient in some of the world’s most classic cocktails. Instead, craft these easy dry vermouth cocktails and sip away.

Brooklyn Cocktail with Brooklyn Bridge View at Manhatta
Image: ©2foodtrippers

Dry vermouth is easy to forget about until that crucial moment when you want to craft a Martini garnished with olives or a Gibson with pearl onions. Or perhaps you’re craving Campari and want to serve Old Pal cocktails to new friends.

That’s when it’s time to open your liquor cabinet (or better yet, your refrigerator) and pull out that dusty bottle of dry vermouth. Otherwise, you’ll need to run to the liquor store and buy a bottle ASAP.

Fun Fact
Dry vermouth has various names around the world. They include French vermouth, vermouth bianco, vermouth blanc and white vermouth.

What Is Dry Vermouth?

Noilly Prat White Vermouth Bottle
We bought this bottle of Noilly Prat white vermouth to craft classic cocktails at home. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Dry vermouth is a cocktail staple that spans the centuries.

Joseph Noilly, a French herbalist, created the original version in 1813 by adding a secret blend of herbs and spices to fortified white wine. And, while sweet vermouth debuted 27 years earlier in Italy, France’s version immediately stood on its own.

Fun Fact
Noilly’s white vermouth is still produced in France today. However, its company, Noilly Prat & Co., was purchased by Italian competitor Martini & Rossi in 1971 which later merged with Bacardi in 1993.

Pouring a Gibson Cocktail
Martini & Rossi produces a prodigious amount of dry vermouth. We used this bottle to craft Gibson cocktails. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

It’s easy to confuse the two vermouth varietals (dry and sweet) until you sip them. Although they both contain white wine that’s been fortified with liquor and aromatized with herbs and spices, their colors and flavor profiles differ dramatically.

Unlike sweet vermouth which is caramel-colored, dry vermouth has a neutral color best described as clear or white. It’s also drier than sweet vermouth with a bright taste that’s enhanced by botanical ingredients like juniper, saffron, sage and wormwood.

Pro Tip
You can use dry vermouth as a substitute for white wine when you make pan sauces at home.

Dry Vermouth Cocktails

Brooklyn Cocktail on Counter
Despite its European heritage, dry vermouth is a key ingredient in American cocktails like the Bronx and the Brooklyn. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Dry vermouth may make you think about little old ladies with a penchant for arsenic and old lace. It may also evoke images of international spies sipping cocktails that are shaken, not stirred. Or perhaps you rather drink than think.

While dry vermouth doesn’t get the star billing that liquors like bourbon, gin or vodka command, there’s no denying that it’s a key ingredient is some of the world’s most classic cocktail recipes.

These are our favorite dry vermouth cocktails to craft at home:

5 Of The Best Dry Vermouth Cocktails

Old Pal Cocktail with Black Background Angled View
Old Pal
The Old Pal is a boozier version of the Negroni and Boulevardier. It's also delicious. Craft one at home in just five minutes and find out if the Old Pal will be your new best friend.
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Gibson Cocktail with Chess Pieces
Easy to make at home with just a few ingredients, this Gibson is a classic gin cocktail that's cool, classy and tastes like a dream. In other words, it's a winner.
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Brooklyn Cocktail from Above with White Background
Brooklyn isn't just the most populated borough in New York City. It's also a pre-prohibition cocktail that sips like a dream. When you follow our easy Brooklyn cocktail recipe, you'll forget about the other four boroughs before you get to the bottom of the glass.
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Bronx Cocktail with White Background
Move over Manhattan! See you later Brooklyn! The Bronx isn't just one of New York City's most culturally diverse boroughs. It's also a drink that blends gin with orange juice and two different vermouths. The result is a classic gin cocktail that's as easy to sip as it is to craft.
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Diplomat Cocktail on White Marble
The Diplomat cocktail is ideal to imbibe during secret liaisons involving international negotiations and other clandestine affairs. It's also a tasty tipple that you can craft at home in just five minutes.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is dry vermouth?

Dry vermouth is aromatized fortified wine that derives its complex flavor from various herbs and spices

What is the best way to drink dry vermouth?

While some people sip dry vermouth as an aperitif, the best way to drink dry vermouth is in crafted cocktails.

What is the most iconic dry vermouth cocktail?

The Martini is the most iconic dry vermouth cocktails. Other popular dry vermouth cocktails include the Brooklyn, Bronx, Diplomat, Gibson and Old Pal.

What’s the best way to store dry vermouth?

Dry vermouth slowly loses its flavor after the bottle is opened. Storing dry vermouth in the refrigerator extends its shelf life.

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About the Authors

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.


Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

We purchased the ingredients and tools used to craft these cocktails.

Original Publication Date: May 20, 2023

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