If you're like most budding home bartenders, you probably have a sweet or dry vermouth (or both) among your bottles. And if you're anything like me, that vermouth bottle is collecting some dust.
When you're on a martini kick, you find yourself reaching for that bottle of dry vermouth (hopefully from the refrigerator, where it belongs!) only to use a mere drop or two if you like your 'tini dry. Finishing the bottle feels like a Sisyphean task. Thankfully, dry vermouth can do a lot more than martini.
And, the same is true of sweet vermouth—it goes a lot further than Manhattans (the same can't be said for some New Yorkers who refuse to visit other boroughs). In Spain, I always enjoy sweet vermouth over a little ice as an aperitif, or with an added splash of club soda (vermut con sifón) garnished with an orange slice and olive.
Vermouth is a magical aromatized fortified wine that offers a ton of flavors in a single pour, which is why it's so prevalent in so many cocktail recipes. I've gathered some favorites, moving from those recipes which use dry vermouth into those calling for sweet, so the next time either bottle is staring you down you'll have more than a few ways to put it to good use.
01 of 12
02 of 12
It's a Gibson, but leveled up (or maybe down, given the snack-aisle vibes of a Funyun) with a quick-to-make Funyun infused gin. Just a handful of hours of resting time is all that's needed to yield your very own batch of salty Funyun gin. Use it to make rounds of Gibsons at your next party.
03 of 12
If you're a fan of the herbal green liqueur, this spirit-forward riff on the typical gin martini is for you. (And this recipe might also serve the double purpose of helping you use more of that Green Chartreuse you have sitting around, too.)
04 of 12
A martini, sub tequila. Just like a traditional gin martini, you can play around with the proportion of dry vermouth to blanco tequila you use.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
05 of 12
50-50 Gin Martini
Try the martini the original way, made with equal parts dry vermouth and gin, along with a dash of orange bitters. It won't drink like the extra-dry martinis we have grown accustomed to, but it just might become a new way for you to enjoy this classic (and use up more vermouth than you ever anticipated). If you're feeling this 50-50 version, try making your martini "wet" by swapping the ratio so that there's more dry vermouth compared to the measure of gin.
06 of 12
This lower-ABV option puts a refreshing spin on dry vermouth, combining it with the black currant liqueur and splash of club soda.
07 of 12
This cocktail's ingredients list may read like someone was trying to make a martini and made a mistake, pulling a bottle of sweet vermouth in place of the dry found in martinis, but the Martinez actually pre-dates the martini. Gin and sweet vermouth are stirred over ice along with the tiniest pour of Luxardo maraschino liqueur and a dash of bitters, then strained and served in a chilled martini glass.
08 of 12
Gin & It
Meanwhile, the Gin & It reads like someone was making a Manhattan and grabbed the gin bottle instead. But that's not actually how it was created (or if it was, we will never know), and it's a delicious use of sweet vermouth in a straightforward drink.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
09 of 12
Blood and Sand
This equal parts cocktail features Scotch, along sweet vermouth, cherry brandy, and a bitter brightness from fresh orange juice.
10 of 12
This bourbon based classic differs from a Manhattan with the addition of bitter Campari, making it a bit brighter than the usual sweet vermouth and rye whiskey drink.
11 of 12
Sweet vermouth and whiskey get a citrus boost from orange liqueur and fresh OJ. This cocktail is so surprisingly refreshing for a whiskey based drink that it might be making its way to a brunch table near you, soon.
12 of 12