Versin Aperitivo is produced in Spain, and is a decent non-alcoholic substitute for Spanish vermut with soda. It is not at all like the more bitter Italian vermouths most commonly found in popular craft cocktails.
Versin vermouth definitely has some familiar characteristics to vermouth you might taste in Seville: cinnamon, cloves, and spice, but without the bitterness. Made from a blend of the below ingredients, Versin makes an intriguing and sweet aperitivo mixed with club soda.
Bottom line: If you love Spanish vermut and soda as an aperitivo, you might like Versin non alcoholic vermouth. Just don’t expect it to be a non-alcoholic vermouth alternative in all your favorite cocktails.
Best enjoyed in: Versin & Soda
In order to thoughtfully review a product, it must be tested. Here’s the method taken for taste testing, used for each non-alcoholic spirit:
What Does Versin Aperitivo Taste Like…
- On ice
- On ice with tonic or appropriate single mixer
- Brand recommended mocktails
- Get creative
Aside from being tooth-achingly sweet, Versin tastes of cloves, cinnamon, and spice. It is quite syrupy, but slightly reminiscent of Spanish vermouth.
#2 On Ice:
In Spain, you would typically have vermouth earlier in the day. It’s common to be served a solid pour on a large ice cube, then you can add soda water if you prefer. On ice, it’s colder, but still very syrupy and sweet.
#3 On Ice with Soda Water
As mentioned above, normally you have the option to add a splash of soda water. With this splash, Versin is starting to feel more believable as an alcohol free Spanish vermouth. It still seems too sweet, like it needs more soda. With a ratio of 1:5 as suggested on the bottle, Versin and soda is actually a refreshing drink. It tastes like a faint memory of aperitivo in Seville.
#4 Brand Recommended Mocktails Featuring Versin Aperitivo
The only brand recommended drink is Versin on ice with soda in a 1:5 ratio. See above for tasting notes.
#5 Get creative with Versin Non Alcoholic Vermouth
I did not know any cocktails with Spanish vermut, so I did some digging and found one. The Mariantino. Since this cocktail also has Campari and gin, I kept the Campari and substituted the gin with Ritual Zero Proof Gin Alternative for a low ABV beverage. Here’s what I tried:
Mariantino (low ABV)
- 75ml Versin
- 15ml Ritual Gin Alternative
- 15ml Campari
- 3 dashes angostura bitters
- Orange twist+green olive garnish in coupe
Verdict: Not great. It tastes like a cocktail, but the flavors don’t seem balanced enough – maybe a bit sweet. Versin is very sweet, but it also seems like Ritual Gin Alternative is just not punching through the way gin should in this typically spirit-heavy cocktail. It’s passable as a cocktail, but not something I would recommend.
Sweet Vermouth vs. Versin Aperitivo
As mentioned before, Versin is meant to be diluted 1:5 soda to Versin and enjoyed as an aperitivo. It was not designed to be used straight as sweet vermouth and dry vermouth are typically used in cocktails. In a side by side comparison with a sweet vermouth, Versin was too sweet and syrupy, without any bite at all.
While Versin is decent as a faint impression of vermut in a Versin and soda, it was just too sweet to use as a mixer in any other non alcoholic drinks. Even mixed with Campari in a low ABV cocktail, it was too prominently sweet.
To reiterate: If you love Spanish vermut and soda as an aperitivo, you might like Versin non alcoholic vermouth, but it cannot be used as a non-alcoholic substitute for all vermouth (dry or sweet) in your favorite cocktails.
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Water, Sugar, Extracts and Aromas, Acidulants: Citric Acid and E-296, Flavors, Preservatives: E-211, E202, Colors: E-122, E-124, E-150d (E-122 and E-124 may have adverse effects on attention in children); GLUTEN FREE
Storage: Refrigeration not necessary.
Nutrition: Per 100ml | 64 Calories; Fat 0g; Carbohydrates 16g; Sugar 15.9g; Protein 0g*
*Nutrition information was found on the bottle and might be subject to change.