There are several different kinds of Vermouth deriving from wine that has been fortified. Dry Vermouth (White Vermouth) or Sweet Vermouth (Red Vermouth) are all wines that have be processed with several different types of herbs and spices, giving it a distinct aroma and flavor.
Vermouth, even though it can be drank straight by itself, is mostly used as the main ingredient for many mixed cocktails. The most common cocktail with the ingredient of Sweet Vermouth is a Manhattan. The Manhattan is made by combining sweet vermouth, bourbon whiskey, Angostura bitters, a cherry, and a touch of an orange peel to rub around the top of the glass so the orange oils with flavor the rim.
Even though the name vermouth is a German word used for wormwood or wermut. For the major ingredient in vermouth up until the late 1700’s, wermut was found out to be a poisonous herb and was no longer used for flavoring. The first sweet vermouth was not available until the early 1800’s when a man by the name of Antonio Carpano of Italy. A wine producer by the name Joseph Noilly located in France along about the same time created the dry vermouth.
There are some mixed drinks calling for both the dry and sweet vermouth for the same cocktail. One such drink is called the Alfonso Special containing Orange Liqueur, dry gin, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters.
Many times people do not realize how important it is to refrigerate an opened bottle of vermouth because it is in the wine family. Dry vermouth can be refrigerated for up to a year but the sweet vermouth will only be flavorful up to six months refrigerated. Regardless of which type of vermouth you like, both have their own distinctive aroma and flavor.