Vermouth Alcohol Content – 20 Varieties of Vermouth Proof & Calories

A digestif including Vermouth is excellent when served neat, on ice with a citrus twist, or even poured over frozen grapes. The Vermouth alcohol content, calories, and whether can it make you drunk are topics most of us would like to know more about.

In this article, we will explore the alcohol content (proof) and calories of Vermouth and compare it with other digestifs. We will also explore how to serve Vermouth and when to serve it. Finally, we will also go through the ingredients and different uses for Vermouth.

We will first go through the Vermouth alcohol proof (ABV) and compare it with the alcohol content in Sherry- another fortified wine. You can compare the content in this drink with the Jagermeister alcohol content if you are looking for a different digestif or aperitif.

What is the Vermouth alcohol content?

The Vermouth alcohol content is 15–18% by volume (30 to 36 proof) making it a moderately low-proof alcoholic aromatized fortified wine or spiked wine. The digestif is fortified with additional alcohol (usually grape brandy), giving it a higher proof compared to most wines (average 12% ABV- 24 proof) and lower than most spirits (average 40% ABV- 80 proof). You may find some Vermouth alcohol percentages going as high as 24 percent by volume.

Vermouth is made from a white wine base making more than 75% of the finished drink, which can be a blend of wines. The white wine is then fortified (blended) with additional alcohol (usually neutral grape brandy) and aromatized with different botanicals.

Vermouth alcohol content

The different wine grapes that are used in making Vermouth include:

  • Catarratto
  • Clairette Blanche
  • Piquepoul
  • Trebbiano

The drink is produced in Turin and Piedmont in Italy, the Chambery region in France, the UK, the US, and Spain by having a distillate added to wine to raise the alcohol. These are the main regions that produce Vermouth where it gained popularity as an aperitif drink in the 18th century.

Some of the popular Vermouth include:

VermouthAlcohol content (proof)OriginVarietal
Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth16.5% ABV (33 proof)ItalySweet Vermouth
Cinzano Vermouth15% ABV (30 proof)ItalySweet Vermouth
Cocchi Vermouth16% ABV (32 proof)Piemonte, ItalyVermouth di Torino
Contratto Bianco17.50% (35 proof)Piedmont, ItalySweet and dry vermouth
Del Professore Rosso18% ABV (36 proof)ItalyAperitif
Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambery17.5% ABV (35 proof)Savoie, Chambéry Slightly sweet
Dubonnet Rouge Aperitif19% ABV (38 proof) for the U.S version and 14.8% ABV for the FrenchFrance / U.S.A.Well-balanced aperitif
Gallo Sweet Vermouth16% ABV (32 proof)California, United StatesSweet Vermouth 
Gonzalez Byass Vermouth di Copa15.5% ABV (31 proof)Jerez, SpainPedro Ximenez
Lillet Vermouth17% ABV (34 proof)Bordeaux, FranceClassic vermouth
Lo-Fi Aperitifs Dry16.5% ABV (33 proof)California, U.S.A.Dry Vermouth
Lustau Vermut Rojo15% ABV (30 proof)Jerez, SpainAmontillado & Pedro Ximéne
Mancino Vermouth16% ABV (32 proof)Italy‎Trebbiano
Martini Bianco Vermouth15% ABV (30 proof)Turin, ItalyTrebbiano
Noilly Prat Vermouth18% ABV (36 proof)Marseillan, FranceOriginal Dry Vermouth
Punt e Mes Vermouth16% ABV (32 proof)ItalyItalian Vermouth
Rossi Extra Dry Vermouth18% ABV (36 proof)ItalyBone dry vermouth
Tribuno Vermouth16% ABV (32 proof)California, U.S.Dry Vermouth
Vermouth Bianco16.8% ABV (33 proof)Turin, ItalyPale, sweeter vermouth

Dolin Dry Vermouth alcohol content

From our evaluation, the Dolin Dry Vermouth is the best Vermouth in the market today. The French Vermouth has been in use since the 1820s. The original Dolin Dry Vermouth had a minimum of 30 macerated botanicals.

Even though the recipe is a secret, the Dolic Dry mouth has an alcohol content of 17.5% ABV (35 proof). The Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambery from France / Savoie is based on the Ugni-Blanc wine and is flavored with 17 different herbs and spices. 

The warmth of alcohol balances the aromatics and herbiness in this aperitif to give you a classical style of vermouth with a light, clean profile. The unsweetened dry vermouth has a slight golden hue.

Dubonnet Rouge Aperitif

The Dubonnet Rouge Aperitif is one of the best sweet vermouth created by Joseph Dubonnet. It is now produced at Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, Ky which is different from the original production region in France.

The United States-produced Dubonnet Rouge Aperitif has an alcohol content of 19% by volume (38 proof) while the French-made Dubonnet Rouge Aperitif has an alcohol content of 14.8% by volume (29.5 proof).

To make Dubonnet Rouge, the red wine base is macerated with a proprietary blend of herbs and spices such as cinchona tree bark, black currants, and tea among others. It can be served over ice after dinner as a dessert.

The celebrated authority on the aperitif tradition giving you a refreshing drink in the summer and port-like flavors promise a hint of holiday for winter.

Noilly Prat Extra Dry alcohol content

If you want a dry Vermouth, then Noilly Prat Extra Dry should be the one you consider first. The French Vermouth is the ideal one for preparing a 50:50 Martini Cocktail. The drink includes 14 different herbs and spices that are sourced from various countries in the world such as

  • Roman chamomile and gentian from France,
  • Coriander from Morocco,
  • Bitter Oranges from Tunisia
  • Orris Root from Italy
  • Nutmeg from Indonesia

The alcohol content in a Noilly Prat Extra Dry Vermouth is 18% ABV (36 proof). The delicious, handcrafted vermouth has one of the highest alcohol content among vermouths.

The more clear/pale, drier Vermouth can be taken straight over ice or used for cocktail drinks. The Noilly Prat Vermouth Extra Dry has 75% wine which gives the vermouth vanilla, baking spice, cream, yeast, and oaky notes.

Carpano Antica Formula

For Manhattan, we recommend the Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth which was first produced in 1786 by Antonio Benedetto Carpano. It is one of the standard-bearers for sweet vermouths worldwide.

The distinctive and powerful aromatized wine Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth has 16.5% alcohol content by volume (33 proof). The sweet vermouth of the highest quality

This rich yet balanced vermouth gives you hints of baking spices, figs, dried cherries, vanilla bean and orange peel, and wild herbs that dominate its textured and layered palate. These emanate from the unique bouquet and its unmistakable vanilla notes.

To enjoy the Carpano Antica Formula, simply stir over ice, strain into a chilled glass, garnish with a cherry and serve straight up. This will give you a drink that is sweet on the palate, with an elegant finish.

Lo-Fi Aperitifs Dry Vermouth

Martini is one of the most widely enjoyed drinks in the world. To make it, we recommend using the Lo-Fi Aperitifs Dry Vermouth as part of the ingredients. It is a line of vermouths and amaro that are crafted with California wines and a blend of natural herbs & botanicals.

The California-produced Lo-Fi Aperitifs Dry Vermouth comes with an alcohol level of 16.5% ABV (33 proof). You will easily recognize the pale straw hue and fresh green apple and white in this drink.

Therefore, the Lo-Fi Aperitifs are produced in Napa Valley, United States. it is made from locally-grown grapes infused with flavors of citrus rind, elderflower, coriander, and other herbs and botanicals.

To serve it, it pairs well with dry cider, gin, and rye whiskey. These spirits bring out the brisk acidity and juicy palate. These are the perfect profile ingredient for a martini.

Vermouth Alcohol content, serving temperature, taste and calories per ounce

Vermouth vs Sherry alcohol content

We can not complete the finalization of the comparisons without comparing Vermouth to Sherry the most famous fortified wine digestifs. Both Sherries and Vermouths are considered wines but have distilled alcohol spirits added to them during the winemaking process making the fortified wines. 

The Sherries can be classified from the sweetest and darkest to driest are Pedro Ximénez, cream, oloroso, amontillado, manzanilla, and fino.

15%-22% ABV is the alcohol content range in sherries but 16-18% is the average in Sherries. On the other hand, 15–18% alcohol content by volume (30 to 36 proof) is the alcohol content in Vermouth. This makes both moderately low-proof alcoholic aromatized fortified wines

Moderate Sherry consumption has been linked with reduced blood pressure and restoration of artery function. This makes the drink great for your health.

You can pair Sherry with absinthe, cinnamon syrup, coconut cream, coconut water, and coconut puree. Some of the Sherry such as Oloroso can also be paired with pork meat, casseroles, or matured cheese and served chilled at around 10-14°C.

What is Vermouth?

Vermouth is not a spirit but an aromatized fortified red or white wine that is blended with herbs, spices, roots, and barks. It is a wine with distillate added to it to produce a lower alcohol content compared to many liquors but higher alcohol content compared to wine.

The base wine is sweetened and aged in barrels by following the specific winemaker’s style. Most of the Vermouths have a subtle, slightly grassy nose, mingled with aromas of lime, thyme, and white wine.

There were two main varieties of Vermouth sweet or red (or Rosso) vermouth, and dry vermouth. Sweet Vermouth hails from Italy while dry vermouth was first produced in France.

The Vermouth has alcohol its fundamental bitter taste due to the herbs from the plant or root. Some of the common aromatic herbs used in producing Vermouth are cloves, cinnamon, quinine, citrus peel, cardamom, marjoram, and more.

Producing Vermouth

To produce Vermouth, winemakers follow the following steps:

  • Take the wine
  • Add sugar or mistelle. Mistelle is made by adding alcohol to fresh grape juice.
  • Onto the mixture, add a botanical distillate blend from the herbs and spices that you prefer
  • Finally, add alcohol to increase the alcohol content to the desired proof (ABV). 

The following are the common botanical distillate ingredients that can be used to make vermouth:

BotanicalTypes used in making Vermouth
BittersAngelica root, cascarilla, cinchona bark (quinquina/quinine), licorice root, oris root, sweet flag, and wormwood
CitrusBergamot orange peel, bitter orange, lemon peel, lime peel, orange peel, and pomelo peel
HerbsAngelica, coriander, Dittany of Crete, gallic rose, ginger, honeysuckle flower, hyssop, juniper, Kieffer lime leaves, lavender, marjoram, oregano, orris root, roman chamomile, sage, st. john’s wort
SpicesAllspice, cardamom, cinnamon bark, clove, mace, nutmeg, star anise, tonka bean, vanilla

Can you drink Vermouth straight?

As described above there are different ways to take Vermouth to enjoy your moments after dinner or any other meal. Vermouth is a cocktail unto itself since it contains wine, distilled liquor, herbs, and botanicals.

You can drink Vermouth straight over ice even though it is taken in cocktails mostly. Serving Vermouth on ice with a citrus twist opens the layers of complex, aromatic flavors. You can first try drinking vermouth chilled and neat, on the rocks, or with soda water. 

In some instances, you can try Vermouth with a splash of soda or bubbly for a simple yet sophisticated drink presentation. Some of the cocktails that you will love with a Vermouth are any gin cocktails. Moreover, it pairs wonderfully with sparkling ciders, Champagne, or seltzer.

Vermouth servings to get drunk

Compared to wine, Vermouth can get you drunk faster but compared to spirits (distilled liquor), it will take a number of Vermouth servings to get drunk as compared to spirits.

That makes Vermouth perfect for day drinking. It gives you increased flavor and depth but compared to liqueur is not a quicker way to get drunk. This is because most Vermouths are way below 40 proof.

Since the serving size is usually small (two to three ounces), an average man will need to take five to seven servings of Vermouth to get intoxicated (Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) will reach the minimum amount of drunkenness at 0.25 percent).

Ultimately, Vermouth whether taken as a cocktail or straight will make you drunk if enough quantity of the drink is consumed within an hour.


Related article: Aperol Alcohol Content – Proof, Cocktails & Calories per 1.5 Oz.

Conclusion

We have gone through the different types of Vermouth and described them. Part of the description was the Vermouth alcohol content for different varieties and brands.

The average alcohol content in a Vermouth is 15–18% by volume (30 to 36 proof). This makes them moderately low-proof alcoholic aromatized fortified wines or spiked wines.

We have also gone through the taste profile of each variety and its ingredients to help you take a fortified wine that suits your style.

Sources

https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-a-digestif-4160394

https://www.winemag.com/2021/10/21/best-after-dinner-drink/