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Nov 28, 2012 02:39 PM

Should vermouth be refrigerated after opening?

I've recently been given a bottle of a very special Italian sweet vermouth that I intend to use for negronis and Manhattans. It's a pretty big bottle (a liter) and will likely last a while. How long can I expect it to keep reasonably good, and should it be refrigerated after opening?

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  1. I'm assuming you were given Carpano Antica, congrats it's a wonderful apperitif by itself on the rocks with a twist and is great in Manhattans.

    It should definitely be kept in the fridge (vacuum sealed, if possible), where it will keep just fine for about 3 months. Sweet Vermouths last longer than dry.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Klunco

      Yes, Carpano Antica it is! I don't usually drink vermouth straight, but I'll give it a try as you said, on the rocks with a twist. I've had it in both Manhattans and negronis, and it makes a huge difference in compared with the usual bar offerings of Cinzano or Martini.

    2. carpano antica?

      That stuff is amazing. drink it fast, definitely refrigerate.

      1. Definitely in the fridge. Put it on the bottom in the back to keep it fresh the longest. I would say 3 months is pushing it. For best flavor, drink a lot of Sweet Vermouth cocktails or straight on the rocks with an orange twist and try to use it within a month. Cheers

        1. I just finished off a bottle of Dolin that was four months old. I kept it in the fridge and vacu-sealed it religiously. It was fine. I compared the last bit of it to a fresh bottle. The fresh version had more depth of flavor, and the sweetness was better balanced by some of the other flavors, but in general, the differences were somewhat negligible, and the four month old refrigerated sweet vermouth made perfectly fine cocktails during the whole course of its life span in my kitchen.

          I know there is some debate as to the effectiveness of vacu vin, but I'm guessing it helped keep my vermouth good for quite a while in the fridge.

          2 Replies
          1. re: The Big Crunch

            I have to agree, put in the fridge and vacuum seal if possible.

            As far as how long it will keep. Vermouth going "bad" is a harder question. It will keep much longer than 3 months and be perfectly fine to drink. It will start loosing some of its notes and won't be quite the same the longer it stays open. But give me old Carpano before a new bottle of cheap vermouth.

            1. Why oh why isn't Carpano Antica available in smaller bottles??? It's by far my favorite sweet vermouth, but it's hard to use up that big a bottle before the flavor starts going south (even if kept in the fridge). I'd buy it much more often if I could get it in a smaller bottle so that I wasn't so committed to vermouth cocktails for the next month or so.

              7 Replies
              1. re: monopod

                I'm the op, and I was concerned about the same thing...the large bottle! That's why my post!! Not to worry, I opened my bottle of Carpano Antica about 5 days ago, made Manhattans one night, nigronis the next, and have been sipping this delicious elixer on the rocks with a twist ever since. It's addicting, and at the rate we're consuming the bottle, I doubt that spoilage will be an issue. With the holidays coming up, we'll be lucky if it lasts a month...well within it's lifetime, expecially now that I have a vacuum cork in place, and keep it in the frig. At less than $30 for a liter, this juice is a bargain!

                1. re: monopod

                  Just bought Carpano Antica and came here to see if I should refrigerate it. I found it in a half bottle, 375 ml for $18.99+ here in NYC. Since this thread is a couple of years old, perhaps this is a new offering?

                  1. re: JoanN

                    As I've now learned, definitely refrigerate it and if you have a rubber cork vacuum gadget, pump out the bottle between uses.

                    1. re: josephnl

                      Not only did I put it in the fridge immediately after reading this, I also bought a VacuVin since the VacuVin seemed to get better reviews than the FoodSaver wine stoppers.

                        1. re: josephnl

                          I know some others may disagree, but I've been refrigerating and vacu-vining vermouth for years and it does a wonderful job of really extending the shelf life.

                  2. re: monopod

                    VacuVin is an option, or you can top off the bottle with CO2 to displace oxygen before re-corking. I've also heard you can extend the shelf life of vermouth by decanting it into smaller bottles to minimize air exposure (for instance, dividing the 1L bottle into several 8-oz mason jars and then refrigerating those.