Vermouth is one of the most popular ingredients in cocktails but what if you don’t have vermouth at hand?
Luckily, there are quite a few great vermouth alternatives that add a similar flavor to your drink.
Vermouth is a fortified wine. This means that there is also liqueur in the wine to stabilize it.
You can find two types of vermouth: dry vermouth (which is usually white) and sweet vermouth (which is usually red).
There are plenty of vermouth substitutes for both sweet and dry. Here is our list of the top 6 vermouth alternatives.
Dry Vermouth Substitutes
Thanks to its beautifully dry and crisp flavor, the dry white vermouth is typically used in martinis such as the Dirty Martini and the classic Martini.
Here are a few dry vermouth alternatives that you can use to substitute this fortified wine in your drink.
Best known for its Japanese origins, sake (see also ‘6 Great Sake Substitutes‘) is a fermented rice wine and its dry flavor resembles that of dry vermouth.
You can add the same amount of sake as you would usually add vermouth to your alcoholic drink.
2. Dry White Wine
One of the best vermouth substitutes is dry white wine. As there are many varieties of dry wine, you can even vary the flavors a little in your cocktail.
While dry vermouth isn’t as punchy as white wine, it still works surprisingly well in a martini.
Just make sure that you get the driest wine available, and then this makes for an excellent vermouth substitute.
3. Lillet Blanc
Lillet Blanc is an aperitif originating from France. Similar to dry vermouth, Lillet Blanc is also a fortified wine but it also contains citrus flavors as well as herbs.
There are quite a few different variations of Lillet available, from Lillet Rose and Lillet Rouge to Lillet Blanc.
These different types hint at the different fortified wine color. Lillet Blanc is a white, fortified wine with a light and sweet flavor and some herbal and floral notes.
The Best Sweet Vermouth Substitutes
In comparison to dry vermouth, sweet vermouth is a little more spicy and it has some sweet and bitter notes.
Sweet vermouth is popular in some of the sweeter alcoholic cocktails such as Americano, Manhattan and Negroni.
Here are our top sweet vermouth substitutes that you can use to add a little kick to your drink.
You can easily use any type of Amaro in place of sweet vermouth. Amaro is a traditional Italian liquor made with herbs.
Its bitter taste resembles the bitterness of vermouth, and you can use it in a variety of spirits, including sweet Aperol and the super bitter Campari.
However, it’s best to try a few different Amaro options for your cocktail.
We found that particularly the sweet and dark Amaro Tosolini and Meletti work very well as sweet vermouth substitutes.
2. Dry Red Wine
Another great vermouth alternative is dry red wine with a little bit of syrup.
If you have a bottle of red wine around, then this could be ideal to replace dry vermouth. Dry red wine has a similar bitter note as vermouth.
The syrup is added to ensure that it’s not too bitter, so you can choose to put it into your drink as you like.
3. Sweet Red Wine
If you don’t have dry red wine, then the sweet variation also works very well as vermouth substitute.
Just use the same amount of red wine as you would use vermouth.
The sweet wine is a little sweeter than traditional sweet vermouth, so if you love a sweet cocktail, then this is the best vermouth replacement.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can You Use Instead Of Vermouth In A Martini?
There are plenty of vermouth alternatives, including sherry (see also ‘Dry Sherry Substitutes‘), dry red and white wine as well as Amaro.
Particularly other fortified wines, such as Lillet Blanc, are ideal to use in place of vermouth.
Some bartenders even recommend to use white Port if you don’t have white vermouth at hand.
Can You Replace Vermouth With Gin?
No, gin isn’t the best vermouth alternative that you could add to your drink.
The better replacements for vermouth are Lillet Blanc, dry red wine or dry sherry.
If you just add some gin or olive brine into your dry Martini, then this will not have the same flavor as adding vermouth or a good vermouth substitute.
What Can You Substitute For Vermouth In A Manhattan?
You can use Amaro, Port, dry Sherry and even red dry wine in place of vermouth for your Manhattan cocktail.
There are plenty of vermouth substitutes that replicate the same herbal and bitter flavor of this fortified wine.
From dry red wine to Amaro and sherry, just use these vermouth alternatives in equal measures in your cocktail.
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