Skip to Content

4 Sweet Vermouth Substitutes: Add A Twist

We’ve all been there – rummaging through the pantry only to find out we’re out of sweet vermouth. It’s that moment of mini-panic when you want to whip up a classic cocktail.

No worries, we’ve got you covered. There are some great alternatives that can save the day.

One time, we swapped sweet vermouth with a splash of port wine. Our friends couldn’t even tell the difference.

Another goodie is red wine and a bit of simple syrup – believe us, it works wonders. So let’s unlock these substitutions and get back to sipping on our favourite cocktails.

4 Easy Substitutes for Sweet Vermouth

For those who aren’t familiar with sweet vermouth, it’s a fortified wine that adds a complex, herbaceous flavor to cocktails.

It’s often used in classic drinks like the Manhattan, Negroni, and Martini. But when you’re all out of sweet vermouth, here are four substitutes you can use instead.

1 – Red Wine and a Dash of Sugar

When we ran out of sweet vermouth again, we turned to red wine and sugar. It’s a simple fix that packs a ton of flavor. Using a ratio of 3 parts red wine to 1 part sugar is key.

Mix well to dissolve the sugar. Unlike sweet vermouth, this has a richer and slightly more tart taste.

We noticed that it brings a deeper, more robust mouthfeel to our cocktails. This quick switch has saved multiple cocktail nights.

So next time, give red wine and sugar a shot for that drink that’s missing a little something extra.

2 – Port Wine

The thing about Port wine is its sweet and robust flavor. It’s a star substitute for sweet vermouth. The rich notes of red and black fruits bring a complex profile to cocktails. It’s sweet but with a hint of tartness.

Try a 1:1 ratio of Port wine to sweet vermouth in your drinks. It’s amazingly smooth. We once swapped it in a Manhattan, and it was a hit.

For more creative port wine substitutes, take a peek at Port Wine Replacements. It works wonderfully in Negronis too.

3 – Sherry

The super star of our evenings? Sherry. Its nutty, caramel flavors make it a perfect sweet vermouth stand-in.

We swore by sherry for its cozy, warm profile. A 1:1 ratio works magic in a Negroni or Manhattan. It brings a deeper complexity compared to sweet vermouth.

We even whipped up a smooth cocktail using sherry, and our friends loved it. Interested in more ways to use sherry? Check out these sherry substitutes for more inspiration.

4 – Marsala Wine

Last but definitely not least, Marsala wine is another solid substitute for sweet vermouth. Marsala has rich flavors of dried fruits and nuts. The caramel notes bring a warm depth to drinks. Use Marsala in a 1:1 swap for sweet vermouth.

We once used it in a Manhattan, and it gave a unique twist that our friends loved. It’s a bit sweeter, so go easy on any added sugar. Marsala works wonders in Negronis too.

You might also find these Marsala wine substitutes useful. Cheers to finding new favorites!