One with spices and herbs flavored and fortified wine, whose name is derived from wormwood (Artemisia absinthium or English Wormwood). Incidentally, this is also used for the famous spirit absinthe used with the characteristic green color. The main ingredient of the plant is the essential oil thujone, the typical, bitter Taste. A wine flavored with herbs was already in the antiquity the Greeks and Romans. The Greek doctor Hippocrates (460-377 BC) the drink's appetite and digestive properties were known and he experimented with it. The Roman writer Pliny the Elder (23-79) praised a flavored spiced wine called " Hypocras ”In the highest notes. With the Romans, a spiced wine was called “because of its appetizing effect” aperitivum ".
This type of drink only became popular many centuries later and is particularly popular in Italy and France not only as an appetizer. At the beginning of the 16th century, Jeronimo Ruscelli, also known as Alessio Piemontese, sold wormwood wine in his homeland, the kingdom Savoy, Wormwood, as we know it today, was not born until much later in 1786 in Italy Piedmont, as Antonio Benedetto Carpano (1764-1815) created the first vermouth in his liqueur shop in Turin and founded the famous company. In 1870 this became the well-known brand Punt e mes created. Large quantities of wormwood were already produced in Piedmont at the end of the 18th century, and the region is still the most important producer today.
Carpano soon found imitators with the at least equally well-known Italian wormwood brands Martini & Rossi. Cinzano and many others. Other well-known brands are the French vermouths Chambery. Lillet. Noilly Prat and Picon. Wormwood must be made from at least 75% wine with the addition of various herbs, spices (such as cinchona ), Plant extracts, flavorings and wine spirit ( ethanol ) are produced in a complicated and often secret recipe. By Spriten with distillates alcohol content brought up to 22% vol. There are white and red, dry and sweet versions. Dry wormwoods are called "French Style", sweet ones are called "Italian Style", although there are all variants in both countries.
The center of French production is the small town of Chambéry near Grenoble. French vermouth is based on white wines, which are mostly dry-aged. There is the protected designation Vermouth de Chambéry . Compared to Italian vermouth, the French is generally darker and has a light weight oxidized Taste. The Italian Vermouth di Torino is also protected. Presumption is a commonly used part of numerous cocktails - the most famous of which is the Martini Cocktail, The wormwood is made in a similar way Campari manufactured.