Ever Wonder? - What Exactly is Vermouth?


You probably know Vermouth simply as an ingredient in a cocktail such as a Martini or Manhattan. But, did you know it’s actually a wine?

According to records, vermouth was first produced in the late 18th century for medicinal purposes with aromatics playing the healing role.

While Vermouth makers each use their own mix of aromatics in their offering, such as herbs, bark, roots, citrus and spices, the Wormwood plant is a classic ingredient. Wormwood, shown in the image, is credited for the original naming of Vermouth since the German word for Wormwood is “Wermut.”

But, all Vermouth starts as a white wine. It is aromatized with various blends of natural botanicals and then fortified (i.e., extra alcohol is added).

While all dry Vermouth is white not all white Vermouth is dry. Some Vermouth is intentionally sweet, including red vermouth that is cola-brown in color and has a distinctive cola flavor.

So yes, Vermouth is most commonly known as an ingredient in cocktails, but it’s actually a wonderful aperitif on its own. Try it cold over ice. Cheers!