You probably heard this name already, vermouth, and most probably you also tasted it at least once in your life, maybe without knowing it, was an ingredient of your cocktail. As a redeemed vermouth sceptic I can relate to this scenario, I knew about its existence but never happened to try it as a stand alone aperitivo drink, until I eventually tasted it, and fell in love with it.
Vermouth has a long history, and even though it lost his appeal in present times, it was once one of the most iconic and loved drinks.
David Lynch in his article “How to drink Vermouth, beyond the Martini” (http://bit.ly/2fUriIf) describes it as a potion more than a drink, it was in fact used by Germans as a medicinal tonic before it became a drink. In his article Mr. Lynch follows by explaining how the name Vermouth comes from wermut, a German word meaning wormwood, one of the main botanicals infused in that potion.
Together with wormwood vermouth is distilled by infusing several different botanicals, as cinnamon, orange peel, anise and many more, in wine and alcohol for a period of time that can go from two to six months.
Image source: (http://bit.ly/2fUsnjf)
In his article “Exploring the Styles of Vermouth” (http://bit.ly/2f0XMiA) Madeline Puckette identifies Carpano as the father of the vermouth we know until these days. Back in the late 1700’s in Turin Antonio Carpano, influenced by the German wermut produced his own aromatized wine and called it Vermouth. This first vermouth by Carpano had a huge success and many more started to distill this fortified wine, among others also the worldwide famous Martini and Rossi.
Finally, these are the 3 things every vermouth lover should know about the history of the drink:
- Before being known as an aperitivo drink the vermouth was used as a medicinal tonic in Germany.
- Antonio Carpano produced the first vermouth similar to the one we still drink in Turin, late 1700’s.
- The word vermouth comes from the German wermut and it means wormwood, one of the principal ingredients of these drink.
Vermouth earned its fame first in Turin and then in the rest of the world, when the Italian Antonio Carpano, while working as assistant in a distillery, decided to transform a medicinal tonic from Germany into one of the most iconic drinks from late 1700’s to our days.
Now that you are aware of the origins of this drink, whenever you feel the need for a good tasting medicine, go to the nearest bar and have a vermouth with your friends… You’ll immediately feel better 😉
My name is Ettore Velluto, I’m a vermouth enthusiast, I like extraordinary cocktails and I’m definitely a foodie. I earned my MsC in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ESADE Business School and at the moment I’m enrolled in the Northwest University’s course on Social Media Marketing on Coursera.