It’s most famously enjoyed in a martini or a Manhattan, and comes in two versions: sweet (Italian) or dry (French). But vermouth is more than just a cocktail builder, because back in the day, vermouth was also used as a health drink (via Bon Appetit).
Wine Spectator‘s Dr. Vinny says vermouth usually starts out as a dry white wine, before herbs and spices are added to it. Producers then add spirits, bumping up its alcohol per volume to 18 percent. Different spices can be added to vermouth, including cloves, cinnamon, juniper berries, ginger, coriander, star anise, chamomile, citrus peel, sage, basil, thyme, quinine, or hops — and if that sounds like your entire spice cabinet, it could well be, because Art of Drink says if you want to make vermouth at home, you can pretty much add any (or all) of your favorite spices into the fortified wine to make it your own.
Is vermouth good for you?
We know wine is full of good things, such as antioxidants and immunity boosters, and it can cut the risk of stroke and heart disease at the same time. But what about its fortified offspring, vermouth?
“Vermouth is wine, but it’s an aromatized, fortified wine,” New York-based vermouth expert Bianca Miraglia tells Maxim. “Aromatizing wine means you’re mixing in edible, aromatic plants to create a beverage that’s easy on your digestive tract and lower in alcohol than liquor. Fortifying wine means you’re strengthening the alcohol content by adding a spirit, which also acts as a preservative. So vermouth is a slightly higher-alcohol wine that will last much longer.”
Aside from reaping the benefits of drinking wine daily, enjoying a glass of vermouth every day can also mean giving your body a digestive aid, an anti-inflammatory, as well as a pleasant way to boost your immune system and reduce stress (via Organic Facts). While Dr. Vinny explains that there aren’t any studies that specifically address the health benefits of vermouth, as long as you drink in moderation (up to one drink per day for women, and two or fewer for men, via CDC), then you might experience a few extra benefits.
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