When it comes to sweet Vermouth I usually bounce between Carpano Antica and Cocchi Vermouth di Torino. I find that Carpano comes off a little sweeter and Cocchi comes off a little more herbal. I switch around based on the type of cocktail it is going into.
Carpano is an aperitif and is the perfect way to start a meal. Either on it's own or with your appetizer, it stimulates the appetite and will make a good meal great. Carpano Antica Formula is made from the Carpano Distillery's "ancient formula" for (red) sweet vermouth. Carpano Antica Formula is sought after because of its heritage, packaging and refined taste. It is distinguished from other sweet vermouths by its hint of vanilla flavor and aroma. The authentic nature of this vermouth is enhanced by using copies of the original 18th Century label and bottle, with the traditional cork and red seal.
This dark, mysterious vermouth is rich, complex and layered, boasting aromas of mint and other herbs, plums and figs, reminscent of Madeira. The rich flavors are hard to pin down: cocoa, red wine, almonds, bitter marmelade, hints of spice and toffee all play across the palate, finishing with a bracing bitter edge. This delectable sweet vermouth would shine in a Manhattan.