There is so little we know about Vermouth but it truly is the unsung hero of the liquor arena. It makes its presence known in our beloved Negroni and Martini. Vermouth is actually a type of fortified wine and the infusion gives it a very florally and spiced profile. People have been making liquors like vermouth with infusion for centuries but it wasn’t till the sixteenth century that Vermouth began its journey under the German kingdom. They would spike it with nuts like groundnuts, wormwood, and wermut. Since it contains wormwood, it was also quite popular because of its medicinal purposes. 

 

Another couple of decades later, the English and Italian added their own fix-ins like herbs and other spices. This version is much closer to what we enjoy today. Also, the liquor is not made from wormwood anymore and contains 15-18% of alcohol by volume. 

 

There are two varieties of vermouth which have very variable tastes - sweet and dry vermouth. The sweet kind is red in colour and French by nature while dry vermouth originates from Italy and has a pale white colour. Within that too, there are sub varieties like rossosbiancos, and punt e mes

 

Most often vermouth is enjoyed in cocktails like Martinis, Manhattans and Negroni but to understand the true flavours you’d have to drink it neat. You can taste chamomile, coriander, juniper, saffron, gentian and wormwood (even though it is not really added). The popularity of Vermouth has spread so much that they have stand-alone bars called vermuterías dedicated to serving only vermouth.

 

To drink it solo, we recommend taking a shot of punt e mes over ice garnished with an orange peel. The punt e messince it has sweeter yet still very diverse taste so it is good for the newbies in vermouth land.