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Best Vermouth For Manhattan

There is often a lot of debate as to what type of bourbon or rye you should put in your Manhattan cocktail, with the cocktail experts telling you that you should use only the very best ingredients – the truth is, you can put in pretty much anything you like!

However, when it comes to the vermouth, there can be no negotiation – you have to use some of the very best. Luckily, vermouth is much cheaper than whiskey, so you won’t have to tax your wallet to get the very best flavor from your cocktail. We would certainly recommend that you add this for a very sour cocktail.

This vermouth is a fortified wine and you might not be spoiled for choice if you are picking them up over the counter. The one rule that good vermouth should always follow is that it should be made with a wide array of grapes and spices, which really gives the booze that added kick.

This drink comes with a wide variety of flavor profiles, so you can be sure that you’ll have everything that you need for a decent Manhattan. You’ll need that rich mix of sweetness and spiciness so that you can be sure that you’ll have everything you need to make your tastebuds really pop.

So where can you find great vermouth for your Manhattan? What flavors and profiles can you expect to find with the very best vermouths?

How much will you have to pay for really decent vermouth? Is it better to shop online for these wines or can you get them straight off the shelf?

Well, if you are looking for answers to these questions and a whole lot more, then we would suggest that you keep reading this article. We have tested and compiled a list of some of the very best vermouths that you can currently find on the market. This has extremely sweet flavor profiles that will certainly give you Manhattan that extra twist.

Best Vermouth For Manhattan

Noilly Prat Rouge Vermouth

Noilly Prat Rouge Vermouth

This first vermouth comes with one of the most diverse flavor profiles that you can find on the market, with decent rye content that will really give your Manhattan that extra boost.

If you want to create a classic version of a Manhattan, then we would certainly recommend that you pick up a bottle of this – introducing the Noilly Prat Rouge Vermouth.

This vermouth comes with a great aroma, which will really give your Manhattan that additional sweet flavor. This contains some dill pickle, which will really come out in your final cocktail when you drink it. Add to that a really fancy bottle that will certainly not look that out of place in your drinks cabinet.

Pros

  • This comes with a wide variety of aromas, which will really run riot over your palette as soon as you drink your final cocktail mixture.
  • This is definitely great for anyone who is a fan of traditional Manhattan cocktails, it does not deviate too radically from the flavor profile.
  • This is French vermouth and has been described as very expressive by those who have used it in their cocktail.
  • There are 29 different spices in this vermouth, so you can certainly expect to find a dash of flavor that will practically knock you out when you drink it.

Cons

  • The price – this might be a little expensive for anyone who is looking for the occasional Manhattan just a few times a week.

Cinzano Vermouth Bianco

CINZANO VERMOUTH BIANCO

This next vermouth is one of the best that you can find on the market, coming with a rich and fruity flavor profile that you can be sure will give you everything you need for a solid Manhattan. If you are looking to save some cash, then we would also opt for this one, as it is the cheapest on the list – introducing the Cinzano Vermouth Bianco.

This vermouth is stirred very well with rye and bitter flavors, giving you everything that you need for a really decent Manhattan. This drink has one of the fruitiest kicks that you can imagine, so if you fancy something slightly more exotic in your Manhattan, then you can’t go wrong with one of these.

Pros

  • This is one of the best budget vermouths that you can pick up on the market, simply bursting with flavor, you’ll definitely get value for money.
  • This vermouth comes with plenty of herbs and spices inside, so if you want that extra piquancy in your Manhattan, then this is the bottle for you.
  • This is a very rye-heavy drink, so if you like that earthy texture to your drink, then this Cinzano will really elevate your Manhattan.
  • This will give your Manhattan that really well-rounded and tasty flavor. It is smooth and won’t overwhelm the other elements of your drink.

Cons

  • This might be a little too overwhelming for people who want that milder flavor to their drink. Make sure that you keep an eye on the rye content of your drink.

Contratto Vermouth Rosso

Contratto Vermouth Rosso

This next vermouth has been made in Italy, which probably accounts for its sweet and lively flavor. This is a great mixer for a highball which contains sweet elements as well as mineral water and other softer mixers. This will give your Manhattan a lot of warmth, which is great if you are thinking of having one at Christmas – introducing Contratto Vermouth Rosso.

This is one of the more expensive vermouths, but with it, you get a lot of quality. You can expect a lot of warmth from this drink, which is great if you want one to warm you up during the colder winter months. This is also a very versatile bottle, a drink that can be added to a lot of different cocktails such as a martini, negroni (see also: Best Gin For Negroni)or a classic Manhattan.

Pros

  • This will give you a very lean and expressive Manhattan, which is very important for getting the maximum amount of flavor possible.
  • This comes with a very smooth finish, so you won’t have to worry about it hurting the back of your throat.
  • This is very spicy vermouth with not a little rye flavoring. If you like your vermouth dark and earthy, then you can’t go wrong with this brand.
  • This comes with floral notes too, making it very similar to a lot of other Italian brands that often create very lively vermouths.

Cons

  • The price – with great quality comes a high price tag, so you’ll be needing to make sure that you value quality above all else before buying this bottle.

Vermouth Routin

Vermouth Routin Original Rouge

If you like your dessert in liquid form, then you might be tempted to pick up a bottle of this vermouth. It comes with all the flavor profiles of your favorite dessert, with warm cake, sugar and baking spices. This is a great bottle to enjoy over the Christmas period – introducing the Vermouth Routin.

This is one of the thickest vermouths that you can find on the market, giving you everything that you need for a full-bodied Manhattan. The fact that it is so rich and cakey is what gives this vermouth its strong character. This is very versatile, although be careful when adding it to your cocktails, as it is very strong and might overwhelm the other ingredients.

Pros

  • This comes with a very plush and velvety texture, which is great if you want something to warm you out in the Christmas period.
  • This vermouth can be added to a myriad of drinks, so you won’t see it lasting for that long in your drinks cabinet.
  • This solid vermouth will give you everything that you need for a very decent body, which is great for anyone who wants a thicker Manhattan.
  • This comes with bitter flavors, which will offset the lighter textures such as sugar and mint that you might get in some of your cocktails.

Cons

  • This might be slightly too expensive and overpowering for your average Manhattan drinker.

Cocchi Vermouth

Cocchi 'Dopo Teatro' Vermouth Amaro

Next up, we have bittersweet vermouth that will give your Manhattan that little extra kick. This has a high rye content, so you’ll be able to immediately detect the earthy tones in your final cocktail. This is quite a dry vermouth, so make sure that you add only a touch to your Manhattan, especially if you are going to avoid dehydration – introducing the Cocchi Vermouth.

This vermouth is one of the cheapest and tastiest on this list. When we added it to our Manhattan, we found the result was very light and smooth. If you want to seem like a real high-flyer in front of your guests, then we would certainly recommend pulling out a bottle of this to impress everyone.

Pros

  • This vermouth is one of the strongest that we have on this list, giving your Manhattan plenty of punch.
  • This is a very dry Manhattan and definitely one for someone who is not that into fruity cocktails.
  • This will not overpower the other flavors in your Manhattan, which is perfect if you prefer more of a whiskey flavor in your final drink.
  • This vermouth is one of the best when it comes to sharp flavors, it will really make your Manhattan shine when you taste it.

Cons

  • The price – this is another very expensive vermouth and definitely one that should be avoided if you are not a fan of a dry drink.

Antica Torino Vermouth

Antica Torino Vermouth

Next up, we have another very aromatic vermouth in a style of a lot of the antique Italian fortified wines. You can be sure that this one will really fill your nose even before you take a sip of it.

This will really balance out the more acidic and dry ingredients of your Manhattan – introducing the Antica Torino Vermouth.

This has a wonderful perfume aroma that automatically makes our Manhattan drink taste a lot richer. You can be sure that this will give your drink everything that you need for light and fruity air.

This has a thicker body, which is great if you want to give your final cocktail that richer taste and fuller feel in your stomach.

Pros

  • This is one of the most perfumed vermouths that we have on this list, it will really fill your nostrils with a heady aroma before you’ve even taken a sip.
  • We would certainly recommend this for anyone who is a fan of the traditional vermouth flavor, giving you everything that you need for a solid body.
  • This vermouth is one that will perfectly complement the other ingredients in your Manhattan such as bourbon, rum and sugar.
  • This vermouth is one of the most flavorsome on this list, giving you a full body with a decent amount of kick in the aftertaste.

Cons

  • This is another very expensive vermouth, so make sure that you are going to be making Manhattan cocktails regularly before committing to a purchase.

Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth

Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth

Our final vermouth is much more like a wine than its predecessors, giving you such a nuanced yet classic flavor profile, it will be perfect for newcomers and experienced wine drinkers. If you like your Manhattan traditional with that extra spice, then we would certainly recommend you dry a drop of this – introducing Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth.

If you like your vermouth with that little bit of extra finery, then you can’t go wrong with the bottle that this comes in. It is more like a fine wine than vermouth, lingering on the palate and giving you that extra kick as you swallow. This is also a very versatile drink, you can add it to a number of cocktails for that sumptuous flavor.

Pros

  • This can be mixed with a negroni as well as a Manhattan and a martini. So if you are struggling to drain your bottle after a few months, then we would recommend this one.
  • This vermouth comes with a rich mix of flavors, including spice and lemon, which will really add richness to your cocktail.
  • This comes in a fine wine bottle and is brewed using some of the same methods. This makes it great for anyone who likes that extra hint of wine in their cocktail.

Cons

  • This is one of the most expensive vermouths that you can get for the price, so make sure that you are a committed cocktail maker before splashing out on this one. 

Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to finding the best vermouth for your Manhattan, then you’ll be looking for a certain combination of flavors that will really emphasize your final cocktail.

You’ll need to think about how your vermouth fits in with the overall mixture of ingredients. Here are a few you’ll be looking for:

How Strong Is The Alcohol Content?

This will be one of the most important factors when it comes to finding the right vermouth. If your vermouth is too strong, then we would recommend either opting for a different brand or simply using smaller measures. We would recommend looking up a recipe for a Manhattan so you can get the average measure and then adjust it according to your taste.

What Is The Spice Mixture?

Vermouth often comes with a rich blend of spices, some of which number into the thirties! Make sure that you are taking note of how the spices will affect the final outcome of your drink before you add it to your cocktail.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Make A Manhattan?

All you’ll need to make a decent Manhattan are the following ingredients:

  • Two parts whiskey rye
  • One part sweet vermouth
  • Two dashes of angostura bitters
  • One cherry

This is one of the more simpler and conventional manhattans, however, there are a few more complex flavors that you can add such as demerara sugar and even tonic water. If you are going to attempt a tropical Manhattan, then we would recommend switching out the whiskey for two measures of rum.

What Is The Difference Between A Manhattan And A Perfect Manhattan?

The difference between these two drinks lies in the vermouth. A perfect Manhattan is classified as a perfect 50/50 mixture of dry and sweet vermouth, whereas a typical Manhattan only contains sweet vermouth. The vermouth has a low alcohol content, only really being added for the flavor.

Our Final Say

We hope that our list of vermouths has helped you to categorize which is the best for your needs. We would recommend that you pick up a standard sweet vermouth to start and then mix it up later.

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