10 of Our Favorite Sweet Vermouth Cocktails

Rob Rye
Photo: Greg DuPree

Vermouth—an aromatized, fortified wine with Italian origins—is often thought of as a supporting character in many gin or vodka-based cocktails, like the Northern Standard. But, as these sweet vermouth recipes prove, the liqueur works beautifully in plenty of different drinks. It's considered more than a secondary element in classic drinks like the Manhattan; it's phenomenal when blended with bourbon, mezcal, and more. Read on for 10 sweet vermouth cocktails we love, and everything you need to make them at home.

01 of 10

Guava Ponche with Sweet Vermouth

Guava Ponche with Sweet Vermouth
DYLAN + JENI

Ponche Navideño is a Christmastime spiced tropical fruit punch that's served warm with a shot of tequila in Mexico. Food & Wine Cooks contributor Paola Briseño González's chilled riff on this holiday classic pays homage to her love of vermouth. Light and fragrant with perfectly balanced bitterness, it's refreshing and bright thanks to hibiscus, guava, apples, and mint.

02 of 10

Carpano and Soda

Carpano and Soda
© Fredrika Stjärne

Carpano Antica is a spicy, nutty, sweet vermouth with a slightly bitter edge. Mixed with club soda and a dash of bitters, it makes the perfect aperitif.

03 of 10

Negroni

Negroni.
© Tina Rupp

Famed Japanese mixologist Hidetsugo Ueno uses the exquisite French Dolin rouge vermouth in his Negronis, but you may want to experiment with different sweet vermouths—Martini & Rossi, Cinzano, Carpano Antica Formula—or try a bittersweet one like Punt e Mes.

04 of 10

Americano

Cocktail Guide: Americano
© Lucas Allen

This drink was a favorite of Americans in Italy during Prohibition. Prior to then it was known as the Milano-Torino, for the cities where its two main ingredients were first made: Milan (Campari) and Turin (sweet vermouth).

05 of 10

Manhattan

Manhattan
© Wendell T. Webber

According to popular legend, this cocktail was created at the Manhattan Club in 1874, at a party given by Winston Churchill's American mother to celebrate Samuel J. Tilden's election as governor of New York.

06 of 10

San Gennaro

Cocktail recipe: San Gennaro
© Lucas Allen

This take on a Manhattan is Andrew Pollard's tribute to Italian American culture and the annual San Gennaro festival in New York City's Little Italy. He combines rye, a quintessentially American spirit, with three from Italy: citrusy Averna amaro, spicy Campari, and the sweet vermouth Carpano Antica Formula.

07 of 10

Rob Rye

Rob Rye
Greg DuPree

Across the country, bartenders are adding herbs and citrus to red and white wine, creating bespoke versions of vermouth. At San Francisco's Linden Room, Ron Boyd created a floral white vermouth featuring chamomile, dried artichokes, and coriander, which he stirs into his twist on the classic Rob Roy cocktail. Carpano Antica Formula, though, makes a great substitute.

08 of 10

Northern Standard

Northern Standard Cocktail Recipe
Carey Jones

This drink is even better a Manhattan, thanks to three different bitter elements. Created by mixologist James Ives, the Northern Standard is a full-flavored cocktail that uses Knob Creek rye aged in charred barrels to balance out the richness of Carpano. It's as equally strong as it is smooth.

09 of 10

Mezcal Negroni

Mezcal Negroni
Victor Protasio

This riff on the classic gin and Campari cocktail has an earthy richness courtesy of smoky mezcal. Carpano Antica Formula vermouth is full-bodied and flavored with herbs and spices, lending dry, barely sweet flavor to this Negroni. Cocchi Americano and a generous citrus garnish bring a light, citrusy bite.

10 of 10

Bottled Manhattan

Bottled Manhattan
Greg DuPree

Mixologist Don Lee says,"Making a bottled cocktail is great for dinner party planning, too, because it lets you do the work ahead of time." No more stirring drinks at the last minute or fussing with ice and strainers; when your guests arrive, you can spend time mingling rather than rushing to put things together.

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