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13 Perfect Vermouth Substitutes To Add In Your Recipes

Vermouth is an herbal-like liqueur that is commonly used in martinis, Manhattans, and other cocktails. It also has many uses in cooking. Vermouth Substitutes are also aromatic, somewhat sweet wine-based aperitif that is often mixed into cocktails, usually on the rocks.

It’s not a type of wine because it’s made from white wines mixed with herbs and spices like caraway seeds.

If you frequent bars and restaurants, you know Vermouth can be expensive. We have you covered if you’re looking for alternatives to expensive wine.

We will list 13 substitutes you can use instead of costly Vermouth in your next cocktail or dish. We have also added some more information about each one so that you know exactly what it is and how to use it.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Value TableCalories (Per 100g)
Riesling Wine81
Merlot Wine85
Madeira Wine236
Marsala Wine279
Cabernet Franc77
Red Port Wine160
Amontillado Sherry160
Moscatel69
Vya Savina26
Cava296
Moscato83
Campagne84
Chardonnay84

1. Riesling Wine

Riesling is a fruity grape with hints of apple, pear, and peach. The main difference between Riesling and White Port is the sweetness level; while both are sweet, they have different sweetness levels.

Riesling is sweeter because it is fermented with a specific yeast, making it very malleable.

The sweetness level can range from a 3/10 for Riesling to a 10/10 for White Port. Riesling has light fruitiness and aromas of nectar, honey, and dried fruit; with a dry and bitter finish.

How To Substitute

Riesling can replace a Vermouth’s sweetness and kick more than White Port. Use two parts Riesling to one part Vermouth and drink it over ice in a chilled cocktail.

2. Merlot Wine

Merlot wine is made from ungrafted Merlot grapes (usually in the north of France, not just Merlot). Merlot is a fruity variety that has some tannins and bitter notes.

A little fuller than Riesling, with more fruit, sweetness, oak, and spice on the finish. More aromatic but less aromatic than White Port.

How To Substitute

The exact amount should be based on taste preference; drink it in lieu of Vermouth as a Vermouth substitute or add it to a cocktail (half Riesling, half Vermouth) in the same proportions as a person’s preferred level of sweetness and bitterness.

3. Madeira Wine

Madeira wine is made from ungrafted grapes such as Corvina, Catarratto, and Graciano. It is a fortified wine and can be served as an aperitif. It has a nutty, rich flavor that is very sweet and high in alcohol.

It’s almost too sweet to drink as a cocktail, but it can be used to sweeten bitter cocktails or make overpowering cocktails less dominant.

How To Substitute

Take the same amount of Vermouth (1:1) and add 1/3-1/2 of the amount of Madeira wine.

4. Marsala Wine

vermouth substitutes

Marsala wine is made from ungrafted grapes such as Catarratto, Inzolia, and Malvasia Nera. It’s a fortified wine that can be served as an aperitif. It has a dry, mellow flavor with hints of raisin, plum, and orange zest.

How To Substitute

Marsala can replace the bitterness that Vermouth adds. Add 1 part Marsala to 1/2-part Vermouth or two parts Marsala to one part Vermouth (1:2).

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5. Cabernet Franc

vermouth substitutes

Cabernet Franc is one of the three main grapes used in the Bordeaux wine style (the other two being Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot).

Medium-bodied with tannins similar to Merlot but slightly lighter, red fruit flavors dominate the wine, but it isn’t overly sweet.

How To Substitute

Cabernet Franc can replace the sweetness in a cocktail. Use two parts, Cabernet Franc to one part Vermouth, and drink over ice in a chilled cocktail.

6. Red Port Wine

vermouth substitutes

Red port wine is a fortified wine usually served as an aperitif or dessert wine.

The most common styles are Ruby, Colheita, and Vintage Port, with Ruby Port being the sweetest; it ranges from 1/10 to 10/10 on the sweetness scale, while Vintage and Colheita can range from 3/10 to 8/10.

Ruby port is a fortified wine made from ungrafted grapes such as Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, and Bastardo.

It has flavors of strawberries, raspberries, and plums, with a sweet and syrupy aftertaste. It is sweeter than White Port but drier than Madeira.

How To Substitute

Port can replace the sweetness in a Vermouth cocktail; for 1 part, Port adds 2 parts or 2:1 (two parts Port to one part Vermouth). It can also replace the bitterness that Vermouth adds in some drinks; for instance, you can use Ruby Port in lieu of Averna (1:1).

7. Amontillado Sherry

vermouth substitutes

Amontillado is one of the three main styles of Sherry wine. It is made from ungrafted grapes such as Palomino and Manzanilla but can also be made from Pedro Ximenez (Manzanilla).

It has a medium-dry to harsh flavor with hints of dried fruit, nuts, and acidity. If you think it tastes too dry or bitter, you can add sweetening or aromatic ingredients to improve it.

How To Substitute

Amontillado Sherry is best used in sours and some light Aperitifs. For 1 part Sherry, add 2 parts Vermouth or add 2 parts Amontillado Sherry to 1 part Vermouth (2:1).

8. Moscatel

vermouth substitutes

Moscatel is a fortified wine made from ungrafted grapes such as Palomino and Tinta de Toro. It has more fruity flavors than Ruby Port and fewer tannins than amontillado sherry.

Very pleasant acidity with some nuttiness. Dry and toasty on the finish.

How To Substitute

The exact amount of Moscatel alcohol should be based on taste preference; take the same amount of Vermouth (1:1) and add 1/3 of the amount of Moscatel wine.

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9. Vya Savina

vermouth substitutes

Vya Savina is a fortified wine made from ungrafted grapes such as Tinta de Toro, Palos, and Moscatel. It is also known as “Savina”. There are many to choose from, but it’s best to go for a prestigious brand like Sherry Smith’s or Fino Sherry.

It has flavors of dried fruit, spices, and caramel, with hints of spice on the finish. Dry and more distinct than Moscatel, but still sweet and smooth with a dry, nutty aftertaste.

How To Substitute

Take the same amount of Vermouth (1:1) and add 1/3-1/2 of the amount of Vya Savina

10. Cava

Cava is a sparkling wine made from ungrafted grapes like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and/or Parellada, giving it a refreshing fruity character.

Slightly lighter than Prosecco, with more bubbles and bitterness. If you don’t want to drink it as a cocktail, then drink it as an aperitif or dessert wine.

How To Substitute

The exact number of Cava should be based on taste preference; take the same amount of Vermouth (1:1) and add 1/3 of the number of Cava.

11. Moscato

Moscato is a sweet wine made from ungrafted grapes such as Moscatel, Suna, and Forastera. It has flavors of apricots, peaches, and citrus fruit.

The light vanilla flavor on the finish. Sweet but has more tannins than a regular sweet wine like Sauternes or port wine.

How To Substitute

The exact amount should be based on taste preference; take the same amount of Vermouth (1:1) and add 1/3-1/2 of the amount of Moscato wine. Drink over ice in a chilled cocktail or drink as an Aperitif or dessert wine.

12. Champagne

Who does love champagne? It’s a sparkling wine made from ungrafted grapes. The word “Champagne” is the French word for “champagne”, which is distilled in the region of Champagne.

The most common types are Blanc de Blanc or Blanc de Noirs, but there are also Crémant, Rosé, and Rosé Special.

They are usually slightly sweeter and lighter than Prosecco. Sparkling wine has lower alcohol levels than Champagne (about 10% ABV) and can be drunk as an occasional or after-dinner drink.

How To Substitute

Substitute the bitters in a cocktail with Champagne; for 1 part champagne, add 2 parts Vermouth. Champagne can also be used as an alternative for both orange Curacao and Cointreau in some cocktails.

13. Chardonnay

Chardonnay is one of the main grapes used in the Bordeaux wine style. It has aromas and flavors of tropical fruit, tropical flowers, citrus fruit, and honey. Medium-bodied with fruity hints in the nose and a lingering dry finish.

How To Substitute

Add 2 parts Chardonnay Vermouth or 1 part Chardonnay Vermouth to 1 part vermouth (2:1).

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Vermouth Substitutes? Do They Taste The Same?

Vermouth substitutes are wine-based products that are made to have the same flavors as Vermouth. They usually only come in one flavor – dry. That being said, they do taste different from each other and traditional Vermouth.

What Is Dry Vermouth? What Does It Taste Like?

Dry Vermouth is a fortified white wine with flavoring ingredients added for extra flavor. It’s not sweet, but it has plenty of sugar in it to round out the flavors and lessen their bite.

It is usually used in martinis and Manhattans, but it can work in almost any cocktail that calls for Vermouth. It also makes a delicious white wine spritzer when mixed with soda water.

How Does Dry Vermouth Taste Compared To Its Substitutes?  

The taste of dry Vermouth can be described as clean and crisp, with a bit of sweetness at the end, like a perfectly chilled glass of white wine.

It also has a warm flavor that recalls a recently-opened bottle of wine or similarly cold fruit juice since it is made with grapes.

There is no substitute for the taste of dry Vermouth. But some brands of dry vermouth substitutes are better than others.

They use different ingredients, but they all have one thing in common: they mimic the taste of dry Vermouth and can be used in their place in a wide range of cocktail recipes

Where Can I Buy Vermouth Substitutes?

You can purchase your vermouth substitutes at a local liquor store, or you can order them online.

Many different websites offer vermouth substitutes, but not all of them are trustworthy, and some may use deceptive advertising tactics to make it seem as though there is more variety than there is.

What Is The Most Popular Vermouth Substitute Brand?

There are several different brands available that make vermouth substitutes, but The Tuscany Vermouth Substitute is by far the most popular.

This substitute has received a lot of praise from those who have had the opportunity to try it, and some even say that it tastes just as good as some of the more expensive options on the market today.

This brand offers a great substitute at an affordable price, which is certainly something that will draw your attention.

13 Vermouth Substitutes Full Of Flavor

5 from 3 votes
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

5

minutes
Total time

10

minutes

It’s a sparkling wine made from ungrafted grapes. The word “Champagne” is the French word for “champagne”, which is distilled in the region of Champagne.

Ingredients

  • Riesling Wine

  • Merlot Wine

  • Madeira Wine

  • Marsala Wine

  • Cabernet Franc

  • Red Port Wine

  • Amontillado Sherry

  • Moscate

  • Vya Savina

  • Cava

  • Moscato

  • Campagne

  • Chardonnay

Directions

  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio.

Recipe Video

Jess Smith