What is Vermouth?

What is Vermouth

Firstly, aperitif wines…

Aperitif wines are aromatised wines. This means that the wine has been infused with botanicals that add flavor and color. The main types of aperitif wines include vermouths, quinquinas and americanos.

Here is a break down of fortified and aromatised wines courtesy of vermouth101.com

Fortified Wines (non-aperitif wines) – Sherry, Port, Madeira, Marsala (some), Pineau des Charentes

Fortified & Aromatised Wines (aperitif wines) – Vermouth, Quinquina, Americano, Barolo Chinato, various vino amaros

What is vermouth?

Vermouth’s are infused with botanicals (aromatised) and fortified. A fortified wine has spirits added resulting in a higher alcohol percentage. In most cases, the vermouth is fortified with a neutral grape brandy.

How strong is vermouth?

Aperitifs and fortified wines are low in alcohol when compared to spirits but are higher than your average wine. They are similar in alcohol percentage to port and sherry – usually between 13%-24%

Why is it called vermouth?

The word “vermouth” derives from the word “wormwood”. It’s inherited from earlier Hungarian and German wormwood-infused wines of the same name.

What are the different styles of Vermouth?

Torino / “Italian Vermouth”

  • Rosso / Sweet Vermouth / Vermouth di Torino
    Examples: Martini & Rossi Rosso, Cinzano Rosso, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
  • Vermouth all Vaniglia
    Example: Carpano Antica Formula
  • Vermouth con Bitter
    Example: Carpano Punt e Mes
  • Vermouth Chinato
    Examples: Alessio Vermouth Chinato, Cocchi “Dopo Teatro” Vermouth Amaro, Martini Gran Lusso
  • Vermouth Bianco
    Examples: Martini Bianco, Carpano Bianco

Marseilles / “French Vermouth”

  • Dry Vermouth
    Examples: Noilly Prat Original Dry, Noilly Prat Extra Dry


  • Chambéry Vermouth
    Examples: Dolin Rouge, Routin Original Rouge
  • Chambéry Blanc
    Examples: Dolin Blanc, Routin Blanc
  • Chambéry Dry
    Examples: Dolin Dry, Routin Dry

Spain / Vermut de Reus / Vermut de Jerez

  • Rojo
    Examples: Miro Vermut de Reus, Vermouth Perucchi, Yzaguirre Vermouth
  • Other
    Examples: De Muller Reserva, Priorat Natur Vermut

As a general rule, French vermouths are known for being lighter and dry in style whilst the Italian vermouths are known for being red, spicy Torino-style vermouths.

Further Reading


3 Vermouths to Fit your Budget

Essential Vermouth Brands by Style


You Might Also Like

No Comments

    Leave a Reply