11 Best Vermouths To Use in a Spritz
Don't overlook the refreshing, simple joy of combining vermouth and club soda.
If I were to stock a kitchen from scratch, I’d make sure to grab olive oil, salt, pepper, and a bottle of vermouth. While I don’t recommend mixing those ingredients (though savory cocktails are indeed enjoying a renaissance), my loyalty to vermouth has a lot to do with its shocking versatility. I’ve used it to deglaze a pan with caramelized shallots or onions, as an acidic addition to a perfect tomato sauce for pasta, and most often as the base ingredient in the easiest post-work drink I know how to make.
Because a vermouth spritz calls for just two ingredients — vermouth and club soda (not tonic, which will impart bitter flavors from the quinine) — the choice of bottle matters much more than it would in, say, a cocktail with eight different supporting ingredients. We tasted through some of the most accessible, unexpected, and interesting dry and sweet vermouths on the market to find 11 options to make a spritz that punches far above its weight.
Cocchi Dopo Teatro Vermouth Amaro
Cocchi (the same brand behind Cocchi Americano and Bianco) knows a thing or two about coaxing out the complexity in bitters, and this vermouth is a testament. With notes of cherry vanilla Coke, grenadine, and bitter oranges, this is a bright, herbaceous aperitif that avoids becoming cloying thanks to a double infusion of woody cinchona.
Son of Man Summer Vermouth
Known for their Basque-style ciders, Son of Man’s foray into vermouth is an unsurprisingly autumnal one when it comes to flavor. While this isn’t the most layered vermouth, it’s a fantastic entry point into vermouth, and makes for a great gift. Made with a base of their flagship cider, this vermouth has notes of yuzu, rosemary, and apples.
Dolin Dry Vermouth
If you have a bottle of vermouth on your bar (or, if it’s open, preferably in the fridge) there’s a good chance you have Dolin dry vermouth. The old faithful of the category is a classic go-to as a supporting actor to gin in a Martini, but don’t overlook its potential to shine in a spritz. When added to club soda, you’ll get clean, strong notes of orange peel, lemons, grapefruit, and pomelo.
Related:13 Sweet Vermouth Cocktails for the Negroni Fan
Martini & Rossi Rosso Vermouth
Here's another affordable, widely available vermouth that happens to make a classic, refreshing spritz. Expect flavors of black tea with honey, as well as bergamot and jasmine. This is a sweet, amber-hued vermouth with subtle licorice notes.
Little City Dry Vermouth
You might be familiar with Finger Lakes wines (Riesling, in particular) and this vermouth is made using Seyval Blanc, a grape that’s indigenous to the region. I love the crisp, green apple notes that hit you with the very first sip, and the lingering ginger, pepper, and oregano flavors at the end.
Lo-Fi Dry Vermouth
I first got into Lo-Fi’s offerings by way of the brand’s gentian amaro and sleek, minimalist branding. The former makes for a fantastic after dinner drink when combined with tonic and an orange peel, but the dry vermouth — which is surprisingly light, floral, and a little minty — is a fantastic contender as well.
Lustau Rojo Vermut
This delightfully sweet vermouth channels Spain in a bottle. Made with Amontillado and Pedro Ximenez sherries, it’s got notes of bitter orange, root beer, and sarsaparilla. Drink it with it a lemon twist or orange peel after a long dinner shared with friends.
Vermouth di Torino Riserva Carlo Alberto White Vermouth
At $360 a bottle, this vermouth is obviously a splurge. While I wouldn’t recommend using it to cook with (unless you regularly use bottles at this price point in the kitchen, in which case we have very different lifestyle), it does make for an incredibly special spritz with distinct coffee notes, as well as toffee and caramel flavors. I’m also planning to mix this with Luxardo cherry liqueur or Campari this summer.
Elena Penna Vermouth di Torino
From Elena Penna Curado and Luca Currado Vietti (formerly of Piedmont’s iconic Vietti winery), this beautiful, amber-hued vermouth is packed with notes of cinnamon and cloves, as well as mint and sage. Think of this as a sweet vermouth that’s sure to appease the Averna drinker who is a fan of juniper, sage, and rosemary.
Scribe Winter Vermouth
If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle of Scribe’s extremely limited run of vermouth, you’d better savor it in a spritz or three. Infused with sage grown at the winery’s Sonoma hacienda, this is a citrus lover’s dry vermouth.
Eleven Madison Park Home Non-Alcoholic Vermouth
You don’t have to have dinner at Eleven Madison Park to try the famed restaurant’s non-alcoholic vermouth. At $25, this is the bottle I’ll be giving to friends who are taking a break from booze for any reason (or, like me, appreciate having delicious non-alcoholic options at home). With flavors of licorice, tangerines, and lemon, this vermouth is unlike anything I’ve tasted before, and makes for a perfect brunch spritz.
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