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Rosé Vermouth Is Coming for Your Cocktails

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Among the ever-expanding rainbow of vermouth options, pink-hued rosé, or rosado, vermouth is on the ascent—and is yielding some exciting options for cocktails and standalone sipping.

What’s behind the pink vermouth trend? Some say it’s a way to capitalize on ongoing enthusiasm for rosé, including adding another ingredient for making “frozé”-style frozen drinks. Others point to the enduring popularity of spritzes and other low-alcohol drinks for encouraging a wider range of vermouths.

Yet some posit this isn’t a new trend, but a longstanding category that’s finally getting the attention it deserves.

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“If we’re looking back at the vermouth category, and especially wine aperitifs of the most famous and old producers, rosé has always been part of this amazing family,” says Giancarlo Mancino, founder of Italy’s Mancino Vermouth. “It’s probably not the most used one,” he continues, “but it’s surely an important presence in the vermouth family.”

That said, not all blush-hued vermouths start with a rosé wine base.

One of Mancino’s latest offerings, Sakura Vermouth, pours ballet-slipper pink—but it’s made with a dry white Trebbiano di Romagna, infused with Japanese cherry blossom extract and Tuscan violet. The result is ideal for adding nuanced floral notes to a blossom-garnished martini. Drapò Rosé, another Italian producer, blends Trebbiano with Ruché, a Piedmont red wine variety, along with botanical extracts.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Vermut Lustau Rosé is made with a Fino Sherry base blended with Moscatel wine and a fruity red wine from the Jerez region, Tintilla de Rota, for a dusty rose hue and grapefruit aromas. Matt Chavez, bar manager at NYC’s Ci Siamo, says it’s one of his favorites, for its “satisfyingly complex and versatile” profile.

Aperitif wines, like France’s Lillet Rosé or Italy’s Cocchi Americano Rosa, are also part of the rosé-all-day canon. “We use Lillet Rosé to complement and highlight the floral nature of our tomato martini,” made with tomato vinegar, gin, basil vodka and Manzanilla Sherry, says Erin Healy, beverage director at NYC’s Gramercy Tavern. The appeal of the aperitif wine? The color, of course, Healy says, which is derived from a small amount of red vermouth added to the classic Lillet formula; orange aromas are also added. Cocchi Rosa, by comparison, gets its ruby hue from a Brachetto do’Acqui wine base, with gentian bitterness added.

Try rosé vermouth in any drink that uses blanc or bianco vermouth, such as a classic 50-50 martini, White Negroni or a Vermouth Spritz, Chavez suggests. “A rosé vermouth tends to work well in these recipes because there’s the slightest bit of sweetness and floral notes, which a blanc vermouth would typically offer, with the addition of bright red fruit flavors and a blushing hue,” he says.

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Rosé Vermouths to Try

Mancino Sakura Vermouth

Mancino Sakura Vermouth (Italy)

This limited-edition pale-pink vermouth offers delicate floral aromas and a beautifully juicy, fruity palate—think white peach and lychee.

98 Points | See full review here

Vermut Flores Rosé Vermouth

Vermut Flores Rosé Vermouth (Uruguay)

Look for a pretty blush hue and juicy berry notes braced with grapefruit pith bitterness. Serve chilled as an aperitif.

94 Points | See full review here

Lustau Vermut Rose

Vermut Lustau Rosé (Spain)

This easy drinker has a sweet, juicy core and soothing vanilla finish. Serve over ice or mixed with tonic water.

91 Points | See full review here

Yzaguirre Vermouth Rosé

Yzaguirre Rosado Vermouth (Spain)

The vivid rose-pink hue is the product of hibiscus and ruby grapefruit extract. Bold, bittersweet and just right for mixing into spritz-style drinks.

89 Points | See full review here

Mastroginannis Sweet Vermouth

Mastrogiannis Sweet Vermouth (USA)

Though billed as a sweet vermouth, the ruddy base is a Washington State rosé, sweetened with local wildflower honey. Expect a mulled-cider flavor with hints of baked apple, dried cherry and allspice.

93 Points | See full review here

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2023 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!