Distinguishing French (Dry) Vermouth from Italian (Sweet) Vermouth

Vermouth is a delicious beverage that originates from white wine. This product is fortified with herbs and spices, creating two distinct types: sweet and dry vermouth. Both varieties are commonly used as modifiers in cocktails, with the classic examples being a dry vermouth Martini and a sweet vermouth Manhattan. Many people are unsure of the differences between these two vermouth flavors, so this article will explore the distinctions between these two styles of vermouth.

Vermouth was first produced in 1786 in Italy by distiller Antonio Benedetto Carpono. He combined herbs with white wine and named it vermouth after a similar German product that used wormwood to fortify white wine. Vermouth quickly gained popularity, and many distillers began producing and exporting it throughout Europe. While vermouth was initially created to mask the poor quality of wine or extend its shelf life, today’s vermouths are designed to be enjoyed on their own, not just as mixers in cocktails. The two primary styles of vermouth, sweet and dry, both use various ingredients, including herbs and spices.

Key Takeaways

  • Sweet vermouth, also known as Italian vermouth, has a slightly sweet taste and a dark brown color due to the addition of caramel. It is often used in sweet cocktails and served as an aperitif.
  • Dry vermouth, or French vermouth, is a fortified wine used in dry cocktails and served as an aperitif. It has a lower sugar content than sweet vermouth and is lighter in color, making it ideal for lighter-colored cocktails.
  • While dry vermouth is typically associated with Italy and sweet vermouth with France, both styles are now produced in both countries. Sweet vermouth contains 10-14% sugar, while dry vermouth has only 4% sugar. Manhattan is a drink that uses equal parts sweet and dry vermouth, and dry vermouth is an ingredient in dry cocktails like Martinis.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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