AskDefine | Define vermouth

Dictionary Definition

vermouth n : any of several white wines flavored with aromatic herbs; used as aperitifs or in mixed drinks

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A wine in which herbs have been steeped for added flavor (sometimes used as an ingredient in mixed alcoholic drinks).


wine infused with herbs

Extensive Definition

Vermouth is a fortified wine flavored with aromatic herbs and spices ("aromatized" in the trade) using closely-guarded recipes (trade secrets). Some vermouth is sweetened; unsweetened, or dry, vermouth tends to be bitter. The person credited with the first vermouth recipe, Antonio Benedetto Carpano from Turin, Italy, chose to name his concoction "vermouth" in 1786 because he was inspired by a German wine flavored with wormwood, a herb most famously used in distilling absinthe. The modern German word Wermut (Wermuth in the spelling of Carpano's time) means both wormwood and vermouth. The herbs were originally used to mask raw flavors of cheap wine, imparting a slightly medicinal "tonic" flavor.


There are three general styles of vermouth, in order from driest to sweetest: extra dry, bianco/white, and sweet/red. Sweet red vermouth is drunk as an apéritif, often straight up, as well as in mixed drinks like the Manhattan. Dry white vermouth, along with gin or vodka, is a key ingredient in the mixing of martinis. Red vermouths are sometimes referred to as Italian vermouths and white vermouths as French vermouths, although not all Italian vermouths are red and not all white vermouths are French.

Punt e mes

Punt e mes is an Italian vermouth. It is dark brown in color and has a bitter flavor. Punt e mes literally means "point and a half" in Piedmontese and owes its name to a sudden raise of the stock market (naturally, of a point and a half) which greatly benefitted the Carpano distilleries, which then created the vermouth brand to commemorate the occasion. It can be used as a substitute for regular rosso vermouth in such drinks as the Americano, Manhattan and Negroni. Punt e mes has a strong, distinctive flavor, half-way between regular rosso vermouth and Campari. Punt e mes was made by the Carpano family from Turin until 2001, when Distillerie Fratelli Branca of Milan bought them.


vermouth in Arabic: فيرموت
vermouth in German: Wermut (Getränk)
vermouth in Estonian: Vermut
vermouth in Spanish: Vermú
vermouth in Esperanto: Vermuto
vermouth in French: Vermouth
vermouth in Italian: Vermouth
vermouth in Hebrew: ורמוט
vermouth in Luxembourgish: Wermut
vermouth in Lithuanian: Vermutas
vermouth in Dutch: Vermout
vermouth in Japanese: ベルモット
vermouth in Norwegian: Vermut
vermouth in Polish: Wermut
vermouth in Portuguese: Vermute
vermouth in Romanian: Vermut
vermouth in Russian: Вермут
vermouth in Slovenian: Vermut
vermouth in Finnish: Vermutti
vermouth in Swedish: Vermouth
vermouth in Ukrainian: Вермут
vermouth in Chinese: 味美思
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