The Revival of Vermouth

The Revival of Vermouth

Vermouth is having a moment. The captivating fortified wine has long been a staple in any great bar across the world and a bartender's secret weapon for crafting banging cocktails. With its rich history and diverse range of flavour profiles, vermouth offers a unique and versatile experience for those wanting to explore this delicious beverage. Vermouth is currently experiencing a revival with more and more varieties and styles entering the market and we couldn’t be happier about it. Once reserved as something only your grandma might drink, it's a tipple we love to drink on its own, mix with soda or use in cocktails for a low-alcohol refreshing option. What better time to delve into the different styles of vermouth, their characteristics, and the endless creative possibilities they present.

Understanding Vermouth

Vermouth is a fortified wine infused with a blend of botanicals, herbs, and spices. The process begins with a base wine, which is then fortified with a neutral spirit and infused with various botanicals, depending on the style. However, common ingredients include wormwood (which gives vermouth its name), gentian, chamomile, angelica root, cinchona bark, citrus peels, coriander, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. This process imparts vermouth with its distinctive aromas and flavours, creating a complex drink.

Basic Styles

Dry (White) Vermouth: Dry vermouth is characterised by its crispness and herbaceous profile. It offers a delicate balance of botanicals and a light bitterness. Common botanicals used in dry vermouth include wormwood, chamomile, and citrus peels and serves as a key component in classic cocktails like the Martini and the Gibson.

Sweet (Red/Rosso) Vermouth: Sweet vermouth is known for its rich, luscious sweetness, balanced by a gentle bitterness. This style features a wider range of botanicals, including ingredients like cloves, cinnamon, and clove. It plays a vital role in timeless cocktails such as the Negroni and the Manhattan, imparting sweetness and body as well as enhancing the overall flavour profile.

Modern styles

Artisanal producers are pushing the boundaries, infusing unique botanical blends and experimenting with ageing techniques. The result is a new wave of vermouth offerings, showcasing exciting flavour profiles specific to regions and putting a spin on cocktails. From small-batch producers to innovative collaborations, the rise of modern vermouth signifies a reimagining of this time-honoured libation.

Saison 'Summer Flowers' Vermouth 

Saison as the name suggests moves with the seasons with no two vintages exactly the same. Chef-cum-maker Dave Verheul focuses on singular flavours of fruit and uncommon Australian herbs. Botanicals are sourced from either biodynamic or organic farms in Victoria and are made using an organic Muscat base with marigold, calendula, elderflower, chamomile, wormwood, apricots and peaches.

Unico Zelo Pomelo Vermouth

A dry Vermouth crafted from a base wine of Adelaide hills Sauvignon blanc and native Australian finger limes, wormwood and Riverland Pomelo's. This one is for sipping! 

Cos Naturale Rosso Vermouth 

Wild herbs are in abundance on the nose, with citrus and rhubarb taking over on the palate. This is an excellent aperitif style vermouth, whether it's sipping on the rocks or mixing up a refreshing adult cola also known as vermouth and soda. 

Exploring Vermouth's Versatility


Sip it: Vermouth can be enjoyed on its own, over ice, to fully appreciate its intricate flavours. Sipping a quality vermouth allows you to savour the subtle notes and appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into its creation.

Classic Cocktails: Vermouth is an essential ingredient in countless classic cocktails. Experiment with variations of the Martini, Manhattan, or Negroni, adjusting the vermouth ratios to suit your personal taste or try experimenting with a new producer making “modern” vermouth such as Unico Zelo.

Be Innovative: Embrace your creativity and venture beyond the classics by mixing a new wave vermouth into your favourite cocktail. From fruity spritzers to long drinks, vermouth can be a versatile canvas for you to experiment and create your next signature drink. 

Vermouth, with its diverse styles and endless possibilities, is a true gem in the world of beverages and something we feel more people should drink. Whether enjoyed straight, mixed into cocktails, or used to elevate dishes in the kitchen, vermouth is extremely diverse. Explore the nuances of dry and sweet vermouth, experiment with various cocktail recipes, and let your imagination run wild.

Cheers to the versatility and artistry of this quality beverage