11 Best Vermouth Substitutes That You Can Try

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Are you looking for the best Vermouth substitutes? You did right coming here. I once had a similar plight when I was out of Vermouth while trying to prepare the classic Martini cocktail. 


So, what are the things you do if you are out of Vermouth? You need the help of a few substitutes, of course. Any ideas as to what they might be? It is my job to help you with that. Some of the best Vermouth substitutes are Lillet Blanc, White Wine, Chartreuse, Dry Sherry, Sake, and Port.

Vermouth is a type of fortified wine that is used as an aperitif and in several cocktail recipes. Fortified wine means a liquor is added to the wine during fermentation. These wines are made in a sweet or dry style; accordingly, Vermouth is of two types – Dry Vermouth and Sweet Vermouth.

Vermouth is an aromatic wine that is used in many recipes. Before discussing its substitutes, an idea of Vermouth and its uses is important. So, let us explore Vermouth in detail.

Quick Peek: Vermouth


The following scribbles tell you what Vermouth is, its flavor, culinary uses, and health benefits.

What Is Vermouth?

Vermouth is a fortified, aromatic wine that is made of many wine grapes such as Clairette blanche, Piquepoul, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Catarratto and Trebbiano. It contains roots, barks, flowers, seeds, herbs, and spices.

What Is Vermouth Made Of?

Vermouth uses four types of ingredients – aromatic, bitters, citrus peels, herbs, and spices. 

Aromatic Ingredients: Thyme, mint, rosemary, oregano, sage, marjoram, fennel, and aniseed are the major aromatic ingredients used in Vermouth.

Bitters: Cinchona bark, sweet flag, licorice root, cascarilla, wormwood, angelica root, orris root are the bitters used in Vermouth.

Citrus Peels: Orange peel, lemon peel, lime peel, bitter orange, bergamot orange peel, and pomelo peel are the citrus peels used in Vermouth.

Flowers: Chamomile, rose, iris, and elderberry are the flowery ingredients used in Vermouth.

Spices: Clove, star anise, cinnamon bark, cardamom, tonka bean, vanilla, allspice, nutmeg, and mace are the spices used in Vermouth.

Types of Vermouth

As mentioned earlier, Vermouth is of two types – Dry Vermouth and Sweet Vermouth. Dry Vermouth has a fruity flavor, herbal undertones, and 5% sugar. Sweet Vermouth has vanilla and caramel with 15% sugar. With increasing demands, there have been other types, too, such as extra-dry white, sweet white, red, amber, and rosé.

Describing Vermouth: Flavor 

Vermouth has varying flavor profiles depending on the type. The flavor profile of Vermouth is based on four aspects – sweetness, acidity, botanicals, and bitterness. Adding soda, vanilla, or gin enhances the taste of Vermouth. Basically, Vermouth has a sweet floral flavor with spicy undertones. Many describe the flavor as that of licorice, but the presence of wormwood makes this wine bitter in taste. 

Uses of Vermouth

Vermouth is an aperitif enjoyed before meals to induce hunger. That said, Vermouth is best known as an ingredient in making martinis. Vermouth is thus a significant blending ingredient in several cocktail recipes such as Martini, Bronx cocktail, Manhattan Cocktail, Blood and Sand Cocktail, Classic Negroni, and Americano. 

When it comes to cooking, Vermouth is used to deglaze pans. It also pairs perfectly with pork chops, bread sticks, flatbreads, Spanish omelets, and fishcakes. Vermouth is one of the best substitutes for white wine in cooking. 

Vermouth On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

An ounce of Vermouth has around 45 calories. Enjoying Vermouth in moderation boosts your digestive system, acting as a digestive stimulant. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. It can also improve immunity and reduce stress. Moderate consumption of Vermouth can also reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and improve the health of your heart. 

Why Should We Substitute Vermouth?

Vermouth is not a difficult beverage to lay your hands upon. Being a major ingredient, it is easily available. But if you are out of time to get a bottle, you can use the best substitutes for Vermouth to get your recipe going. 

Also, if you are somehow allergic to grape proteins in wine, you might have to bid farewell to Vermouth. In such cases, best Vermouth substitutes not based on alcohol can greatly help you enjoy a close flavor as that of Vermouth. So, shall we talk about the best Vermouth substitutes right away?

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

11 Best Vermouth Substitutes 

Now that you know everything you need to know about Vermouth let us discuss the twelve best substitutes for Vermouth.

1. Lillet Blanc

Lillet Blanc

Lillet Blanc is a French wine made using white wine, fruits, herbs, and botanicals. It is a wine-based aperitif that has a sweet, citrusy flavor. You can also taste oranges, raisins, and spring flowers while enjoying Lillet Blanc. The mixed flavor of green apple, cinnamon, and spices can be experienced as an aftertaste. 

Lillet Blanc is one of the best Vermouth substitutes due to its sweet, floral flavor. It can be used instead of Vermouth in cocktail recipes such as a martini. Being an aperitif, it also helps in stimulating hunger and is thus used before meals. 

2. White Wine

White Wine

White wine is an alcoholic product made using fermented grapes. White wine has a citrusy flavor with a mild taste. Dry white wine, sweet white wine, sparkling white wine, and fortified white wine are the types of white wine. White wine is a versatile ingredient, especially in the case of seafood recipes. 

White wine gives an acidic flavor to your recipes – the stronger the wine, the stronger will be the acidity. White wine is your best bet if you want a Vermouth substitute that doesn’t have an intense alcoholic flavor. Since white wine is less intense in flavor, you may have to add more while replacing Vermouth.

3. Chartreuse


Crowned as the ‘king of liqueurs,’ Chartreuse is the only liquor in the world with a green color. That said, it is also available in yellow color. It is a French herbal liqueur named after a monastery and mountains in France. It makes use of around 130 herbs and spices. It has a spicy, sweet flavor with herbal overtones. 

Green Chartreuse has an ABV of 55%, while Yellow Chartreuse has an ABV of 40%. Both Green Chartreuse and Yellow Chartreuse are good Vermouth substitutes in a martini and other cocktail recipes. You can use Chartreuse to substitute Vermouth on an equal ratio.

4. Dry Sherry

Dry Sherry

Dry Sherry is a variety of sherry wines produced using complete fermentation and made using Palomino grapes. It means that it has only very little sugar from the grape juice. This gives Sherry a dry flavor profile and thus the name Dry Sherry. 

Dry Sherry has a tangy, nutty flavor and can be used as a Vermouth substitute in cocktail recipes. Also, Vermouth can be substituted with Dry Sherry in deglazing and sauces. Dry Sherry can also be enjoyed on its own or relished with cheese and salads.

5. Sake


Sake is an alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin. This national beverage of Japan is made using fermented rice. It is also known as rice wine. It is not distilled alcohol but a sort of brewed alcohol. Sake mai rice, water, mold, and yeast to prepare sake. 

Sake has a mild, sweet flavor with a nutty, fruity aroma. The mild, distinctive sweet flavor of sake makes it a great Vermouth substitute in cocktail recipes. Sake can replace Vermouth in sauces, salads, soups, and marinades. Sake is also used as a sweetener.

6. Port Wine

Port Wine

Port wine, from Portugal, is a fortified wine. It involves a vinification process that makes use of a neutral distillate. Port wine is considered a dessert wine since it has a sweet flavor. Compared to other unfortified wines, Port has a higher alcohol content. 

Port wine has several types, but the two major types are Ruby, matured in bottles, and Tawny, matured in wooden barrels. Port wine is a good substitute for Vermouth, especially Sweet Vermouth, in cocktail recipes such as Manhattan and the Negroni. White Port or Red Port are suitable options.

7. Wine Vinegar

Wine Vinegar

Wine vinegar can be made using red wine or white wine. Red wine or white wine is fermented using a starter culture and acidic bacteria. Through this process, alcohol in the wine turns into acetic acid, and you get what is known as sour wine vinegar. 

Wine vinegar has a sharp, tangy flavor rendering acidity to recipes and thus is a Vermouth substitute. It is especially good in replacing Vermouth in sauces, marinades, and stews. White wine vinegar can be used instead of dry Vermouth, and red wine vinegar can be used instead of sweet Vermouth in recipes.

8. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar

Having its origin in Italy, balsamic vinegar is a type of vinegar made using grape juice. Nowadays, balsamic vinegar uses wine vinegar to improve the speed of the acidification process and is aged for two months to three years. It has a bold, complex flavor with a sweet, fruity taste. 

Vermouth can be substituted with balsamic vinegar due to its sweet and fruity flavor profile. It can be used in dips, steaks, pasta, and risottos. You can also use it in sauces, marinades, and salad dressings. Balsamic vinegar mixed with water should be used to replace Vermouth. 

9. Grape Juice

Grape Juice

Grape juice is the sweet unfermented juice obtained from crushing grapes wholly, including their skin, seeds, and flesh. It has a sweet and tangy flavor that is nutritious and delicious. Depending on the grapes and the juice production, grape juice varies slightly in flavors. 

Grape juice is a considerable Vermouth substitute due to its sweet flavor and lack of alcoholic content in cooking recipes. Regular grape juice can be used to substitute for sweet Vermouth, and white grape juice can be used instead of dry Vermouth. 

10. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Fermenting apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple juice. With added yeast or bacteria, sugar in the apple juice is turned into alcohol. It has a strong flavor with a subtly sweet flavor and a sour taste. 

Apple cider vinegar can be used to substitute for Vermouth in sweet and savory dishes due to its flavor profile. It can be used to replace Vermouth in cakes, dressings, sauces, and marinades. 

11. Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice

Do I need to introduce lemon juice? Lemon juice is refreshing, tangy, sour juice obtained from the lemon pulp. It is an extremely versatile fruit juice that has culinary uses as well as nutritional benefits.

Lemon juice is a considerable substitute for Vermouth if all you want is some acidic flavor in recipes. Lime juice shouldn’t be considered to replace Vermouth since it has an intense flavor. You should use lemon juice according to the intended recipe since all the recipes may not brighten up when the citrus flavor is introduced. 

Short Recap Of Best Vermouth Substitutes

That must have been an exhaustive read on the best Vermouth substitutes, right? Let me make it easy for you to remember the details with the help of some points.

Best Vermouth Substitutes In Terms of Flavor-

  1. Lillet Blanc
  2. White Wine
  3. Chartreuse
  4. Dry Sherry

Best Vermouth Substitutes That Are Non-Alcoholic-

  1. Balsamic Vinegar
  2. Grape Juice
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. Lemon Juice

Final Musings

That was everything significant about Vermouth, and the best Vermouth substitutes were lucidly presented to you. Finding the best substitute for Vermouth should now not be a daunting task for you. Try these substitutes based on the preferences of cocktail recipes, and let me know how they turned out. See you soon with another article!

How To Use Vermouth Substitutes In A Recipe


Vermouth Substitutes

Pining for a classic Martini but out of Vermouth? Not to worry. Try these substitutes. Some of the best Vermouth substitutes are Lillet Blanc, White Wine, Chartreuse, Dry Sherry, Sake, and Port.
5 from 3 votes


  • Lillet Blanc
  • White Wine
  • Chartreuse
  • Dry Sherry
  • Sake
  • Port Wine
  • Wine Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Grape Juice
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What tastes similar to vermouth?

Lillet Blanc, Dry Sherry, Port, Sake, White Wine are alcoholic beverages that taste similar to Vermouth.

What can I use instead of Vermouth in a martini?

Dry Sherry, Lillet Blanc, Cocchi Americano and White Port can be used instead of Vermouth in a martini.

What can you substitute for vermouth in a Manhattan Cocktail?

Averna, Cynar, Port, and Dry Sherry can be used to substitute for Vermouth in a Manhattan Cocktail.

What is a non-alcoholic substitute for vermouth?

Apart from lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar and grape juice, Versin is also a non-alcoholic substitute for Vermouth.

What is the substitute for vermouth in Negroni?

White Port is the best substitute for Vermouth in Negroni.

What is the substitute for vermouth in cooking?

Vermouth can be substituted by stock or broth in cooking.

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