What Is Vermouth and Why Is It in My Drink?

updated May 1, 2019
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What's In My Drink?: Vermouth

If you’ve made or ordered a martini recently (shaken, not stirred, of course), then you’ve probably heard of vermouth. But what exactly is it and where did it come from?

It’s a fortified wine, made with wine, brandy, and a mix of herbs. Even more interesting? One of those herbs was traditionally wormwood, the plant that gives absinthe its reputation as an aphrodisiac and mild hallucinogen. In fact, the word “vermouth” comes from “vermut,” the German word for “wormwood.” No wonder martinis have such a seductive reputation!

Learn more about the fascinating history of vermouth in our new video series, “What’s in My Drink?” Bottoms up!