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13 Sweet Vermouth Cocktails Worth Sipping

It would be easy to forget about that bottle of sweet vermouth hiding in your liquor cabinet but that would be a mistake. Instead, discover more than a dozen easy sweet vermouth cocktails that make great use of the oft-forgotten mixer.

Negroni Sbagliato on Ledge
Image: ©2foodtrippers

Kudos if you recently bought your first bottle of sweet vermouth.

Perhaps you were motivated to craft a Negroni Sbagliato after it became a social media sensation. Or maybe you were inspired to recreate a different Italian cocktail that you sipped in Florence while enjoying a quiet moment at the Piazza Santo Spirito.

We bought our first sweet vermouth bottle to craft classic Negronis when we were cocktail newbies. After we crafted those cocktails, we placed the vermouth bottle on the back of the shelf, thinking it would likely collect dust for years. Fast forward to the present and we’ve since bought multiple bottles of sweet vermouth to craft many more Negronis plus other cocktails, both classic and modern.

What Is Sweet Vermouth?

Bottle of Carpano Sweet Vermouth
We usually have a bottle of Carpano Classico sweet vermouth in our liquor cabinet. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Since sweet vermouth is a popular cocktail ingredient, you probably have a bottle in your liquor cabinet. But, if you’re like most people, you probably never thought too much about what sweet vermouth is and isn’t.

In simple terms, sweet vermouth is an aromatized fortified wine that derives its complex flavor from dozens of herbs and spices. Not surprisingly, sweet vermouth isn’t dry. Although all vermouth starts out as white wine, you’ll need to buy a bottle of dry vermouth if that’s the kind of vermouth you’re seeking for recipes like the Gibson and Old Pal.

Pouring Prosecco into Negroni Sbagliato
We used this bottle of Carpano Classico sweet vermouth to craft Negroni Sabaliato cocktails. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Although the Italians didn’t invent vermouth, they championed the sweet version after Antonio Benedetto Carpano, a resident of Turin, sold his first bottle in 1786. Besides Carpano, other Italian sweet vermouth producers include Cinzano, Cocchi and Martini & Rossi.

While early imbibers sought medicinal benefits from sweet vermouth, they quickly realized the virtue of drinking sweet vermouth over ice, both with and without club soda, as an apéritif. Eventually, mixologists started adding sweet vermouth to mixed drinks along with liquors like bourbon and gin.

The rest, as they say, is cocktail history.

Sweet Vermouth Cocktails

Straining an Emerald Cocktail
We used this bottle of Carpano Classico sweet vermouth to craft Emerald cocktails. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Modern drinkers now buy bottles of sweet vermouth to craft cocktails at home. While the ruby red elixir isn’t the primary ingredient in many cocktails beyond than the classic Vermouth Spritz, sweet vermouth provides the color and flavor that transform certain cocktails from good to great.

Now that we’ve piqued your interest in sweet vermouth, we recommend pulling out your bottle and crafting one or more of the following cocktails:

13 Of The Best Sweet Vermouth Cocktails

Negroni on Lisbon Street Close Up
Unique for its deep red color and acerbic flavor, a the classic Negroni packs a punch with equal parts of bitter Campari, dry gin and sweet vermouth.
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Vieux Carre with white Background
Vieux Carré
Simultaneously boozy and smooth, the Vieux Carré may be our favorite New Orleans cocktail. Follow our easy Vieux Carré recipe and decide if it may be your favorite too.
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Boulevardier with Peeled Orange
A Boulevardier cocktail is a Negroni crafted with bourbon instead of gin. Follow our easy recipe and craft a Boulevardier at home in just five minutes.
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Negroni Sbagliato
Negroni Sbagliato
The Negroni Sbagliato was allegedly invented by mistake. Fast forward 50 years and this mistaken 'Negroni with Prosecco' has become a worldwide sensation. Join the hype and craft one at home.
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Emerald Cocktail with White Background from Above
The Emerald cocktail is proof that there are many roads to cocktail bliss. It's also a fine Irish whiskey cocktail that's as easy to craft as it is to sip.
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Martinez Cocktail Next to White Tiles
You probably aren't familiar with the Martinez unless you're either a cocktail connoisseur or a history buff. But once you try this classic gin drink, you'll surely be a fan. Follow our easy Martinez cocktail recipe and craft one at home in just five minutes.
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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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Bourbon Manhattan on Steps
Crafting a Bourbon Manhattan at home is both easy and rewarding. Follow our recipe and craft the classic cocktail at home in just five minutes. You'll feel like you're at your favorite bar at 1am but without the drama.
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Bijou Cocktail in Coupe Glass
The Bijou cocktail is a bold and boozy jewel that we covet all year long but especially during the holidays. The opposite of a lightweight, this sparkly amber cocktail adds a festive flair to any drinking session.
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Americano Cocktail in front of Green Tiles
The sophisticated Americano cocktail is a lazy mixologist's dream come true. Learn how to craft the classic Italian cocktail in five minutes or less.
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Tipperary Cocktail with Black Background
It may be a 'long way to Tipperary' but the journey to craft a Tipperary cocktail is short and sweet. If you follow our easy Tipperary cocktail recipe, you'll be sipping the potent classic cocktail in mere minutes.
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Sazerac Cocktail
The Sazerac may be one of the oldest cocktails in America but the classic New Orleans drink is as relevant today as ever. Follow our Sazerac cocktail recipe and craft the sophisticated sipper at home.
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Bronx Cocktail with White Background
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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Frequently Asked Questions

What is sweet vermouth?

Sweet vermouth is aromatized fortified wine that derives its complex flavor from dozens of herbs and spices

What is the best way to drink sweet vermouth?

While there’s no harm in drinking sweet vermouth on the rocks, with or without a splash of club soda, the best way to drink sweet vermouth is in crafted cocktails.

What is the most iconic sweet vermouth cocktail?

The most iconic sweet vermouth cocktails include the Americano, Manhattan and Negroni.

What’s the best way to store sweet vermouth?

Storing sweet vermouth in the refrigerator extends its shelf life. While drinking old sweet vermouth won’t make you sick, sweet vermouth slowly loses its flavor after the bottle is opened.

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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 14, 2023

Larkin Haile

Wednesday 24th of May 2023

How did the famous Rob Roy ( a Manhattan but with Scotch) not make this Sweet Vermouth list of favorite cocktails?

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