How long does vermouth last? (+3 Ways to tell)

In this article, we will answer the question “How long does vermouth last?”, and how to tell If the vermouth is off?

How long does vermouth last?

The best-by date printed on the vermouth label does not indicate safety. It is simply an estimation of how long the drink will stay in its prime. The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of vermouth under different storage conditions.

In the pantry In the fridge 
Vermouth (unopened)3-4 years 
Dry vermouth (opened)1 month
Sweet vermouth (opened)2 months 

Vermouth has a shorter shelf-life than most of the available spirits. It is because vermouth does not age during storage, unlike other wines. For prime quality, it is recommended to consume vermouth as early as possible after opening the bottle.

How to store vermouth?

  • Like wine, vermouth should be stored in a dry, cool, and dark area away from the heat. The pantry, kitchen cabinet, or liquor cabinet are all good storage places for vermouth. Liquor cabinets made up of glass doors only add to the aesthetics of the stored liquor. It is not feasible for prolonged storage of any type of alcohol.
  • Once the bottle is opened, vermouth needs to be stored in the refrigerator with a tight seal.
  • Freezing vermouth is not recommended. Because freezing temperatures will damage the flavor profile of vermouth. The rest of the flavor loss will take place during thawing.

How to tell If the vermouth is off?

  1. If you notice any signs of mold growth on the surface of the drink or near the lid, it should be discarded.
  2. If the vermouth off-odor and off-color, discard it.
  3. What usually happens is that the vermouth is left open in the pantry. As a result of which it loses its flavors and becomes flat and dull. In this case, discard the vermouth for quality reasons.

What is vermouth?

Vermouth is a fortified wine flavored with roots, barks, flowers, seeds, herbs, and spices. Earlier, vermouth was used for its medicinal properties. It later gained popularity for its use as an apéritif. Later, it became a staple ingredient for martini and Negroni. It is often used as a white wine substitute in cooking.

Vermouth has two main types i.e dry and sweet. During its making, neutral grapevine or unfermented grape wine is used as a base. Additional alcohol may be added along with different aromatic flavors.

After the addition of flavors and fortification, cane sugar or caramelized sugar is added as a sweetening agent.

How to make Sweet Vermouth at home?


  • 1 orange
  • 3 1/4 cups white wine, divided
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon dried chamomile
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 1-star anise
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender
  • 1/4 teaspoon wormwood leaf
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup sweet or India sherry


  1. Zest the orange. Set the orange aside for later use. While zesting, make sure the pith is not grated because it has a bitter taste.
  2. Pour 1 cup wine into a pot. Set the pot on the stovetop on medium heat. Now add orange zest, cinnamon stick, chamomile, cardamom, star anise, lavender, and wormwood. Bring the wine to a boil with all these flavoring agents. This process will take about 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce the flame to low. Cover the pot with a lid. Let the contents cook for 5 minutes or so.
  4. After 5 minutes, remove the pot from the flame. Strain the wine to remove the solid ingredients that you added during boiling.
  5. In a separate pot, add sugar. Set the pot on the stovetop on low heat. Let the sugar melt without tiring. Once melted, stir the sugar gently and continuously to caramelize it.
  6. The sugar will take about 5 minutes to caramelize. When you are done, remove the pot from the what and let the caramelized sugar come to room temperature.
  7. In a saucepan or tea kettle, add plenty of water. Let the water come to a rolling boil. Then carefully measure ¼ cup of hot boiling water. Pour this water slowly and steadily into the caramelized sugar while whisking continuously.
  8. Add the remaining 2 1/4 cups of wine to the aromatized alcohol. Bring this alcohol to a rolling boil. Pour the hot boiling wine into the caramelized sugar syrup while whisking continuously.
  9. Last but not the least, pour Brandy and Sherry and let the alcohol cool.
  10. Pour the cooled vermouth into a sterilized bottle.
  11. Seal the bottle and refrigerate.


In this article, we answered the question “How long does vermouth last?”, and how to tell If the vermouth is off?


Does Vermouth Go Bad?

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