One with spices and herbs flavored and fortified wine, the name of which derives from wormwood (Artemisia absinthium or English Wormwood). Incidentally, this is also true for the famous spirit absinthe used with the characteristic green color. The main ingredient of the plant is the essential oil thujone that the typical, bitter Taste causes. A wine flavored with herbs already presented in the antiquity the Greeks and Romans. The Greek doctor Hippocrates (460-377 BC), the appetite and digestive properties of the drink were known and experimented with. The Roman writer Pliny the Elder (23-79) praised a flavored spiced wine called " Hypocras "In the highest tones. The Romans called a spiced wine "because of the appetizing effect" aperitivum ".
It was not until many centuries later that this type of drink became popular and is now popular not only as an appetizer in Italy and France. At the beginning of the 16th century Jeronimo Ruscelli, also known as Alessio Piemontese, sold vermouth wine in his native country, the Kingdom Savoy, The birth of wormwood, as we know it today, did not strike until much later in 1786 in Italian Piedmont, as Antonio Benedetto Carpano (1764 -1815) created the first vermouth in his liqueur shop in Turin and founded the famous company. In this was then in 1870 the well-known brand Punt e mes created. In Piedmont at the end of the 18th century, large quantities of wormwood were produced, and the region is still the most important producer today.
Carpano soon found imitators with the equally well-known Italian vermouth brands Martini & Rossi. Cinzano and many others. Other well-known brands are the French vermouths Chambery. Lillet. Noilly Prat and picon. Legally prescribed must be wormwood from at least 75% wine with the addition of various herbs, spices (such as cinchona ), Plant extracts, flavorings and spirit of wine ( ethanol ) are produced in a complicated and often secret recipe. By Spriten with distillates is the alcohol content brought to 22% vol. There are white and red, dry and sweet versions. Dry vermouths are referred to as "French style", sweet as "Italian style", although there are all variants in both countries.
The center of French production is the town of Chambéry near Grenoble. French Vermouth is based on white wines, which are mostly dry. There is the origin-protected name Vermouth de Chambéry . Compared to Italian Vermouth the French is basically darker and has a slight oxidized Taste. Likewise, the Italian Vermouth di Torino is protected by origin. Vermut is a commonly used component of numerous cocktails - the most famous of them is the one Martini Cocktail, In a similar way as wormwood is also the Campari manufactured.