Vermouth is a flavored drink that is made from wine to which sweeteners and herbs are added, to get a completely new taste. Many are not sure whether it is a wine or a liquor because it has a high percentage of alcohol, but still, it retains the characteristics of the basic ingredient. Nowadays, vermouth is used as an additive in cocktails, but also in desserts and during food preparation.

It can often be a substitute for white wine. The name of this drink comes from the German phrase “wermut wein” which translates as wormwood wine. So, we can conclude that the main herb in vermouth is wormwood. In the past, vermouth was considered a medicine, which could give strength, but also recover you from a cold.

During production, sherbet, herbs, and additional aromas are added to the wine. Black, white, and rose wine can be used, and that’s the types of vermouth differ depending on the wine. It is characteristic that pure alcohol is also added so that the aromas of the herbs can be extracted.

What herbs are used in vermouth?


The basic herb that is mandatory is wormwood, and this is where the name of the drink comes from. However, mint, yarrow, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, St. John’s wort, and other herbs that have an intense taste and smell are also added. During aging, these herbs release aromas and extracts into the wine. That is why it is considered that vermouth is also a medicine and not just an alcoholic drink.

Always selected quality ingredients

Vermouth cannot be bad, because even the lowest class of wine can serve to prepare this aperitif. But if you want a high-quality product, then you should pay attention to the origin of the drink itself.

There are many brands of vermouth in the world, with different quality classes. But what they all have in common is that they are products intended for lovers of aperitifs and alcoholic beverages. Most vermouth producers are from Italy, but there are also from France and Germany, as well as from the USA and other parts of the world.

What types of vermouth are there?


The basic type of vermouth is known as dry vermouth, which has up to 4% sugar in its composition. This is the most common type of vermouth, followed by white vermouth, which is milder and has up to 12% sugar in its composition. Red vermouth contains up to 15% sugar, and rose vermouth is a mixture of red and white. There is also bitter vermouth, which has a higher concentration of herbal extracts.

As you might guess, those types of vermouth that are characterized by a certain color actually show us what kind of wine they are made from. Of course, there are different nuances in the taste and aromas, but also different countries have specific ways of producing this drink.

How to drink vermouth?

Vermouth is used in a variety of ways, from an aperitif to an ingredient in delicious cocktails. It is often a part of cooking, as it is added to meat sauces or desserts.

If you drink it neat, without additives, you can put one to two ice cubes in a whiskey glass, filled to no more than a third. And if you like cocktails, you can choose a martini or a Negroni.

If you use it in recipes, put some in the marinade for meat and fish, but you can also use it in salad dressing. In some recipes, it is also used as a substitute for wine. Vermouth often imparts a distinctive sweet herbal flavor to any food or drink. Of course, do it if you like the taste of any kind of vermouth. There is nothing terrible if you are not a fan of such drinks, but believe us, it gives a very good taste in desserts and food.

How to properly store vermouth?


Vermouth does not have a very long shelf life. Since it is a product made from wine, it oxidizes quickly and can acquire a sour taste. On the other hand, it lasts much longer than wine but shorter than liquors.

Opened vermouth can last up to three months in the refrigerator. Try to consume it quickly, because there is no point in keeping the opened bottle for years.

We recommend that you store it in the refrigerator because that way you extend the shelf life. If you don’t drink often, buy a smaller bottle. That way you don’t run the risk of spoiling a large amount of vermouth.

Finally, is vermouth wine or liquor?

We can freely say that vermouth is something between wine and liquor. Although the base is wine, we cannot say that vermouth is a type of wine, because there are many additives that make it different. On the other hand, the concentration of pure alcohol is lower than in common liquors. Therefore, we cannot place it in any of the given categories, as it lies in between.

But if we judge by the ingredients, then we can say that vermouth is more on the side of wine. And in many recipes, it is used as a substitute for wine, which is another proof of its so-called belonging to the basic categories of drinks.

Final words

Whether you think of vermouth as more of a wine or just a liquor, the goal is not to overdo it when you drink it. Because of the taste, we often get the impression that we cannot overdo it with vermouth. But the truth is that we must not go to extremes with any alcoholic beverage, especially when we are at an important event or have to drive a car.

We hope that our guide has helped to clarify more things for you, especially about the origin of vermouth. On the other hand, if you have never tried it, we recommend that you first test the basic taste and then mix it in different cocktails. If nothing else, at least it will be interesting for you to find your favorite combination and enjoy this drink.