Sweet vermouth is an aromatized, slightly fortified red wine with a moderate sweetness balanced by a bitter aspect. The word Vermouth comes from the German "wermuth", or wormwood. While there are many styles of sweet vermouth, and no recipe is standard, sweet vermouth is typically red to reddish brown in color, spicy and bitter, and somewhat sweet, with about 32-36 proof.
Historically, sweet vermouth was also known as Italian vermouth, though many countries now make it. In 1786, Antonio Carpano, invented vermouth after noticing German wines flavored with wormwood to give them an herbal, tonic flavor. The Carpano company now makes Carpano Antica, an incredibly complex sweet vermouth with a strong dried fruit aspect. Carpano Antica is expensive and only sold in liter bottles.
Due to the presence of sugar, sweet vermouth is typically more sturdy than other styles. Still, you should always buy the smallest bottle you can, and drink the vermouth within a week or two.
Some popular cocktails containing Sweet vermouth
- The Study — Rye, Calisaya, Fernet Branca, Sweet vermouth, Bitters, Scotch, Orange peel
- The Battalion Three — Bourbon, Chicory Liqueur, Sweet vermouth, Mezcal, Bitters, Orange peel
- Mr. Hyde — Amaro Nardini, Cynar, Sweet vermouth, Bitters, Strawberry, Demerara syrup, Mint
- Crimson Lake — Gin, Sweet vermouth, Bitters, Aperitivo
- Crown Jewel Negroni — Gin, Sweet vermouth, Campari, Juniper-orange tincture
- L&L — Reposado Tequila, Aperol, Sweet vermouth, Bitters, Lemon peel
- Melody — Sweet vermouth, Amaro, Jägermeister, Peychaud's Bitters, Pussanga
- Negroni Sgroppato — Champagne, Aperol, Sweet vermouth, Lemon sorbet
- Jerezana — Amontillado Sherry, Manzanilla sherry, Sweet vermouth, Dry vermouth, Orange bitters, Vanilla syrup
- Ozymandias — Rye, Brandy, Sweet vermouth, Bigallet China-China, Bénédictine, Bitters, Lemon zest