15 Vermouth Cocktails for Sophisticated Sipping

February 20, 2024 by

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Vermouth cocktails are making a big splash in the drinkscape, and this exciting renaissance is the result of a few fun trends converging. The low-ABV movement loves a fortified aperitif moment because it adds complexity without packing too heavy a punch, while the resurgence of classic drinks like the Negroni and Manhattan has also ushered this ‘old-timey’ ingredient back into the spotlight.  

Add to this the enduring legacy of vermouth brands like Cinzano that has been reimagined for a new cocktail-loving generation, and it makes complete sense that this unique aromatised wine has been getting plenty of props.  

All in all, vermouth cocktails are riding a wave of nostalgia, flavour, and versatility, making them a must-try for adventurous palates. Here are 15 amazing cocktails to try if you want to see what all the hullabaloo is about:  

1. Classic Martini

Classic Vodka Martini with Olives

Dry vermouth cocktails do not get any more iconic than the Martini. Associated with sophistication, class, and the dashing James Bond, of course, the Martini has cemented itself as a time-honoured clinker.  

In fact, with so many Martini variations doing the rounds, some bars now have whole menus dedicated to them, featuring a dazzling array of dry, wet, sweet, spicy, and even single-sip options. However, to set your standards suitably high, we recommend you start with our go-to Classic Martini recipe. 

You might also like: Best Gin for a Martini (Classic, Dry & Dirty)

2. Gibson

Top view of a pair of Gibson Martinis with skewered cocktail onion garnishes on a wooden surface

The Gibson made its way back onto everyone’s lips thanks to its cameo in the multi-award-winning Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit in 2020. Combining Bulldog Gin, Cinzano Vermouth Bianco, and the delightful acrid bite of a pickled cocktail onion, this drink is an acquired taste, but a true classic. It’s definitely a cocktail with dry vermouth that is worth a try if you’re in the mood for something different.  

Get schooled: What is the Difference Between a Gibson and Martini Drink? 

3. Manhattan

Front view of Manhattan Cocktails garnished with fresh cherries

The Manhattan is another famous cocktail that uses vermouth and has become an integral part of the mixologist canon over the years. Featured on the IBA’s Unforgettable list, it’s an easy cocktail to master, consisting of just three familiar parts; whiskey, sweet vermouth (we love 1757 Vermouth di Torino Rosso), and bitters. Spirit-forward, sure, but also smooth, sweet, and delightfully sippable. 

Discover next: Manhattan vs Old Fashioned Cocktail: What is the Difference? 

4. Bronx

Orange-colored Bronx cocktail served in a martini glass with a wedge of fresh orange

Our list of the best vermouth cocktails wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the inimitable Bronx. This gutsy cocktail is a dapper riff on the Martini, adding sweet vermouth, orange juice, and bitters to the mix. Yes, that’s right—two kinds of vermouth, because if one is good, two is better! It makes for a very interesting flavour combo that flits between sweet and herbaceous in the most inspiring way. 

5. French Rose

Front View of French Rose Cocktail

If you like daintier cocktails made with vermouth and adore a kiss of cherry, the French Rose is going to be right up your alley. The great thing about this three-ingredient cocktail is that it tastes exceptional but takes very little effort to make. With only two to make, this cocktail is great for when you want to spend the better part of the evening catching up with your friends. 

Take a deep dive: Everything You Need to Know About Vermouth 

6. Negroni

Negroni Cocktails

The timeless Negroni cocktail is over a hundred years old, and this vermouth drink is just as classy, complex, and compelling as it’s always been. The genius of the Negroni lies in the equal-parts ratio of bitter Campari, zesty gin, and Cinzano Vermouth Rosso. When stirred over ice, the Negroni brings the best out of each element in a swirling, spiral dance. The result is a cocktail that’s a perfect balance of bitter, sweet, floral, fruity, spicy, and green-tinged flavours. 

Read next:20 Negroni Variations for Negroni Week 2024

7. Negroni Sbagliato

Two Negroni Sbagliato cocktails on a table in a home kitchen on a sunny day

These days, there are many amazing Negroni variations, but none quite as bubbly as the Sbagliato. Its origin is a classic happy accident tale of Prosecco being poured into a Negroni instead of gin. Lucky for us, the mistaken bartender tasted it before throwing it out, and the rest is effervescent history. The bubbles breathe life into the cocktail, while the combination of Prosecco, Campari, and vermouth creates a light and refreshing fruit cocktail flavour. 

8. Aperol Negroni

An Aperol Negroni served at sunset

Considered by many to be the equally entrancing little brother of the Classic Negroni, the Aperol Negroni is a delicious and approachable drink with vermouth. It comes to the party with the bittersweet orange flavour or Aperol, underpinned by lingering herbal undertones. When mixed with the botanical flavours of gin and the floral layers of sweet vermouth, it creates a bright, zesty, and easy-drinking cocktail. 

More where that came from! 20 Aperol Cocktails Perfect For Any Occasion

9. Blood and Sand

Front view of Blood and Sand Cocktails

Dating back to the 1930s, this vermouth mixed drink definitely deserves a roaring comeback. The Blood and Sand cocktail is a delightfully sweet and refreshing whisky-based drink with hints of spice thanks to the addition of sweet vermouth. This, in combination with the zesty orange juice, tames the spirit into a smooth-drinking cocktail, making for a stylish aperitif. 

You might also like: What is an Aperitif and When is it Served 

10. Rob Roy

Rob Roy Cocktail

The rollicking Rob Roy is a classic vermouth-based cocktail laced with Scotch whisky and aromatic bitters. This smoky sipper is one that every whisky lover should try. Chances are you’ll love it at first clink and make it again and again. 

11. El Presidente

El Presidente Cocktail

As its name suggests, the El Presidente cocktail was first stirred up in honor of a statesman, likely José Miguel Gómez, who was the leader of Cuba between 1909 and 1913. This interesting drink takes the road less travelled, veering from a classically sour profile to the sweet, boozy end of the flavour spectrum, putting a delightful spin on the classic Manhattan vermouth drink 

12. Matador

Matador cocktail in a coupe glass

The Matador cocktail, or el Matador if you’re feeling fancy, is a classic sipping cocktail that’s as complex as a bullfighter’s footwork. Featuring reposado tequila, Grand Marnier, and Cinzano Extra Dry Vermouth as ingredients, this timeless drink has plenty of depth and character. 

13. Old Pal

Classic Old Pal cocktail with lemon twist garnish

The Old Pal is a complex and robust twist on the Negroni format. Using the classic equal parts ratio, the gin and sweet vermouth are swapped out for rye whiskey and dry vermouth. This creates an entirely new flavour profile that’s vastly different yet somehow familiar. The rye whiskey is bold yet tempered by the bitter Campari and a clean vermouth finish. 

14. Boulevardier

Boulevardier Cocktail

The Boulevardier cocktail recipe is a classic from the roaring 20s, when indulgence was the order of the day. It sprang from the mind of a well-to-do socialite who whiled away his time in the smoky bars of Paris, featuring a deep well of vanilla, caramel, and oak flavours balanced by the bittersweet bite of Campari that leaves you wanting more with every sip. 

15. Rosita

Two Rosita cocktails at sunset

The Rosita is a drink that proves that if you push the boundaries far enough, you’ll strike gold. It’s a blend of reposado tequila, Campari, both sweet and dry vermouth, and a few dashes of bitters, and it’s exactly as bold as it sounds. It’s a one-of-a-kind cocktail that’s packed with everything from earthy, spicy, and wooded notes to fruity, floral, and citrus flavours.   

The most amazing thing is that this is just the tip of the iceberg, friends – there are plenty of other completely captivating vermouth cocktails to explore! Sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.  


Vermouth is a versatile ingredient in classic cocktails like the Classic Martini and Rob Roy. It pairs with gin or vodka in a Martini, or with whiskey in a Manhattan. Additionally, it's a key component in cocktails like the Negroni and the Rosita, where it harmonises with other spirits and flavours for a balanced taste experience.

While vermouth is typically used as a mixer in cocktails, it can indeed be enjoyed on its own. Vermouth's complex blend of herbs and spices gives it a unique flavour profile. Drinking it straight, either chilled or over ice, allows you to savour its nuances. In fact, some prefer it as an aperitif or digestif to appreciate its herbal bitterness and aromatic qualities.

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