Despite being a critical element in a number of classic recipes, from the Martini to the Manhattan, vermouth is seldom considered as anything other than a modifier. But the fortified wine shines as an anchor for countless low-proof drinks; with its bittersweet botanical flavor, vermouth can hold its own in highballs, stirred drinks and even tiki-style serves. The choose-your-own-adventure of the Vermouth and Tonic may be the most well known (and easiest to construct) of vermouth-forward drinks, but more obscure takes, such as the Old Hickory, an equal-parts mixture of blanc and sweet vermouths, deserve a place in the cocktail canon, too. Here, explore vermouth in a leading role through nine easy-drinking cocktails.
Vermouth and Tonic
A simple highball that can be made with sweet or dry vermouth.
Neal Bodenheimer’s Old Hickory
An obscure vermouth-based classic, retooled for more flavor and less dilution.
Pineapple and passion fruit lend a tiki-like vibe to this cobbler riff.
An improved Chrysanthemum with less absinthe and more citrus.
A Spanish vermouth-inspired spritz that plays with fruit flavors.
A low-proof punch featuring dry cider and Italian vermouth.
A warming mix of vermouth and amontillado, cut by bracing coffee liqueur and orange bitters.
A house made celery syrup offers vegetal tones to this vermouth-based cocktail.