8 Sweet Vermouth Brands Packed With Flavour


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For years I struggled to find a complex yet refined aperitif or digestif; thankfully, sweet vermouth came to my rescue. The best sweet vermouth brands can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks with a twist of orange, or even in a classic cocktail.

Vermouth has an intriguing history; it was first produced by Carpano in 1786 and became popular among royalty and dignitaries of the day. Fast forward a couple of hundred years, and we find this classic tipple enjoying a revival.

There are both sweet and dry styles of vermouth. Sweet vermouth can often be referred to as Italian vermouth or red vermouth. Although sweet red vermouth is most common, you can also find the occasional sweet white vermouth.

What Is Vermouth?

Vermouth is a fortified wine often enjoyed before and after mealtimes. To be considered vermouth, it must be flavoured with at least one herb from the Artemisia wormwood family. Botanicals, herbs, and spices can also be added.

What Does Sweet Vermouth Taste Like?

The primary taste of sweet vermouth is fruity, subtly sweet and gently spiced, with a slightly bitter finish. It can also include dark fruits, vanilla caramel, cocoa, and a variety of herbs and spices.

Best Sweet Vermouth Brands

I’ve selected 8 of the best sweet vermouth brands packed with flavour to become your ultimate aperitif, digestif, or negroni.

1. Azaline Saffron Vermouth

Azaline Saffron Vermouth
Credit: Azaline

Overview

  • Distiller: Azaline
  • ABV: 17% (34 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Red

Review

Being in the drinks business since 1874, Gabriel Boudier knows how to produce exceptional sweet vermouth. Their Azaline Saffron Vermouth encompasses cherry, dried red fruit paired with earthy tastes of saffron, tarragon, and a mixture of cooking spices.

Gabriel Boudier is a family-run business, expanding over two centuries. They aim to tell a story through their Azaline Saffron Vermouth. Ingredients are harvested along the ancient silk road trade route and added to fermented pinot noir grapes.

Taste Notes

Sweet grape with contrasting saffron and tarragon. Hints of juniper, orange peel, black currant, cardamom, and coriander. This blend delivers a sweet vermouth experience packed with flavour.

Best Served

Azaline Saffron Vermouth is crying out to be used in a negroni. Simply mix 1 part Azaline Saffron Vermouth, 1 part gin, and 1 part Campari, and you are good to go.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

2. Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth

Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
Credit: Carpano

Overview

  • Distiller: Carpano
  • ABV: 16.5% (33 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Red

Review

This historical vermouth was originally produced in the 1700s. Antica Formula Carpano Vermouth is presented in an individually numbered bottle that is hand-blown and originally used to make Martinez. 

Only three people know the exact recipe. The mysterious sweet vermouth is known to contain saffron from Iran, vanilla beans from Madagascar, and wormwood from the Alps of Piedmont. 

Fun fact: Caramelized sugar is added to the production and causes this tipple to be amber and dark-reddy brown colour. 

Taste Notes

The combination of bitter-sweet flavours and spices gives the feel of winter holidays nostalgia. Think brandy-soaked Christmas cake notes with sweet grape and vanilla.

Best Served

Enjoy neat on the rocks with a twist or orange peel. It would also make an incredible tasting base for a Manhatten cocktail.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

3. Cocchi Storico Vermouth Di Torino

Cocchi Storico Vermouth Di Torino
Credit: Cocchi Storico

Overview

  • Distiller: Giulio Cocchi Spumanti
  • ABV: 16% (32 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Red

Review

The Cocchi Storico Vermouth Di Torino is an Italian-produced sweet vermouth with a deep history. It is still produced using the original recipe from Guilo Cocchi and is featured in almost every Italian bar.

Giulio Cocchi started Cocchi at the end of the 19th century as a pastry chef who was intrigued by flavouring wine with a variety of herbs and spices. Cocchi’s vermouth is a light brown amber colour and a sweet vermouth you must experience.

The recipe includes china calissaia, rabarbaro, arancio amaro, and artemisia, along with creme caramel, nutmeg, and citrus fruits.

Taste Notes

This sensational bottle of vermouth is bitter-sweet and has hints of rich fruit. Creme caramel balances the bitterness with a sweeter finish without adding vanilla.

Best Served

Cocchi Storico Vermouth Di Torino is best enjoyed traditionally; neat, on the rocks, with a twist of orange peel. Vermouth heaven!

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

4. Carpano Classico

Carpano Classico
Credit: Carpano

Overview

  • Distiller: Carpano
  • ABV: 16% (32 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Red

Review

The versatile tastes of Carpano Classico are birthed in Italy, and the vermouth has a deep history. Carpano was launched in 1786 and is known as the original red vermouth. It has been made from the same recipe dating back generations and features citrus fruit and vanilla flavours.

Carpano Classico is created using a red wine fortified with distilled spirit and wormwood and aromatic herbs and spices. It is known as the world’s very first commercial vermouth and is similar to Martini Rosso.

Taste Notes

Cinamon and fresh bitter orange, along with cardamom and honey, remind me of a fancy fruitcake. You can taste the burnt sugar, which evolves into spices and afternotes of citrus and even a touch of rum.

Best Served

Carpano Classico takes vermouth to another level. Tasty enough to enjoy neat on the rocks as an aperitif or digestif. It would also make an excellent choice for a flavoursome negroni or Manhatten.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

5. Vermouth del Professore Chinato

Vermouth del Professore Chinato
Credit: Del Professore

Overview

  • Distiller: Antica Distilleria Quaglia
  • ABV: 18% (36 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Red

Review

Del Professore is apparently a 19th-century bartender nicknamed the “the Professor.” Real name -Jerry Thomas; he is thought of as the father of mixology.

Del Professore Vermouth Chinato is a traditional vermouth that blends passion with high-quality ingredients. Its base is Muscat wine, infused with 13 spices, including wormwood, coriander, citrus, and vanilla.

Taste Notes

The sweetness of juicy ripe grapes and lush vanilla duel with herbal bitterness and aftertaste of clove, gentian, and cinchona.

Best Served

In my humble opinion, you need to enjoy Del Professore Vermouth Chinato neat. It is rich, well-balanced, and draws just the right line between sweetness and the bitter edge you need in vermouth.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

6. Punt E Mes Vermouth

Punt E Mes Vermouth
Credit: Carpano

Overview

  • Distiller: Branca
  • ABV: 16% (32 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Red

Review

Another famous vermouth produced by Carpano is Punt E Mes, which translates to a point and a half. Punt E Mes was named after the stockbrokers who would frequent Carpano Bar and ask for “a point and a half” in reference to the stock market and how bitter they would like their vermouth.

Punt E Mes is produced with a combination of over 40 herbs and spices as well as botanicals, namely quinine, orange peel, cinnamon, cherries, and vanilla.

Taste Notes

Mainly sweet dark red fruits, vanilla and orange peel. Bitter-sweet mid-palate and has a syrupy honey flavour and a fruity finish. Has a cheerful sangria vibe to it.

Best Served

Punt E Mes is a clear, dark-red brown and traditionally served over ice, with soda, dark chocolate, and an orange slice.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

7. Still Wild Sweet Rosso Vermouth

Still Wild Sweet Rosso Vermouth
Credit: Still Wild

Overview

  • Distiller: Still Wild
  • ABV: 18% (36 Proof)
  • Country: Wales
  • Colour: Red

Review

The Still Wild Sweet Rosso Vermouth is made with hand-picked botanicals, adding a personal touch to each bottle. Still Wild aims to capture the flavours of wildflowers and botanicals to ensure that each bottle has a distinctive taste.

Taste Notes

This tasty sweet vermouth has surprising depth and a floral undertone of vanilla blossom. The finish reveals a bitter-sweet red berry edge.

Best Served

You can enjoy this vibrant vermouth neat or with ice and an orange wedge. For something lighter, try topping it up with some sparkling prosecco!

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

8. La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge

La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge
Credit: La Quintinye

Overview

  • Distiller: EWG Spirits and Wine
  • ABV: 16.5% (33 Proof)
  • Country: France
  • Colour: Red

Review

This royal vermouth is named after King Louis XIV’s botanist, who selected the herbs and spices to curate the King’s Vermouths and banquets. La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge is produced in the Charentais vineyards.

More fruity-sweet and less bitter edge than others on this list, La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge is an excellent way to enter the world of vermouth for beginners.

Taste Notes

The sweet vermouth has a rich aroma of cherries, berries, and earthly herbs such as sage, rosemary, and pepper. Sweet fruits on the palate at first, followed by a kaleidoscope of herbs and woody afternotes.

Best Served

La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge is best served over ice with a twist of orange. Also, enjoy this beauty in a classic negroni or manhatten.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

Seperator

Ingrid’s Top Pick

best sweet vermouth brands

Vermouth del Professore Chinato

My favourite sweet vermouth on this list is Vermouth del Professore Chinato because it’s rich, well-balanced and sweet, yet retains the bitter after-kick you need in vermouth.

How Is Sweet Vermouth Made?

Vermouth is made from several varieties of fermented grapes blended with wormwood and distilled spirits. To create sweet vermouth, winemakers use sweeter late-harvested grapes, so more natural sugars remain after the fermentation process.

Conclusion

Vermouth dates back over 200 years, and its recent history makes it more intriguing. Sweet vermouth is typically red, and there are a variety of white sweet vermouth brands to try. It is not overwhelmingly sweet and often has a bitter-sweet taste profile, and is balanced with earthly tastes.

Drinking vermouth is a real regal affair as it dates back centuries. Each brand uses a different variety of herbs and spices to create its own interpretation of vermouth. Carpano Classico is known as the original bottle of vermouth, and most bottles will have an interesting story behind their recipe.

Further Reading

Below are some additional articles from The Drinks Geek blog. We write articles on several fascinating areas of drinks, including different brands, drink types, cocktail recipes and more.

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