Vermouth is one of the most infamous drinks out there. A fortified, aromatized wine, it is used in far more recipes than you might expect, from cooking to cocktails. However, most people would recognize it as a key ingredient in popular cocktails such as Martinis, Manhattans, and Negronis.
And yet for some reason, it isn’t as celebrated as spirits like gin and vodka, or like its cousin wines, that are arguably much more ordinary! Vermouth is a hidden gem, with a rich history and a powerful taste.
The fortified wine is made using wine grapes as a base ingredient. After aging a short while, a grape spirit and/or a sugar syrup are added, before the whole mixture is combined with dry aromatic spice ingredients.
These can vary, but they include cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, citrus, juniper, ginger, and marjoram. The result is a sweet, delicious drink that forms a perfect mix for many cocktails – although in Italy and France it is also often consumed on its own as an aperitif.
World Vermouth Day is a time to celebrate this marvelous invention that has stood the test of time and become one of the key components for any drinks cupboard. After all, some of the best cocktails all include vermouth, and you can’t call yourself a connoisseur without knowing how to use it!
On this day, the elegant drink is given pride of place, allowing it to flourish and giving a true appreciation to its many scents, floral notes, and other wonderful flavors.
Learn About World Vermouth Day
The word Vermouth has an interesting origin. It actually comes from the German word for ‘wormwood’, because the original recipe for the drink had the herb as a main component. At various points in its history, wormwood became a prohibited ingredient, and so the ingredients of the drink have now changed – but the name remains as a memory from its past! However, wormwood is still used as a major ingredient in other drinks such as the infamous spirit Absinthe.
Vermouth has grown a reputation as a social drink, one to be enjoyed amongst friends and family, over rich conversations, before a delicious dinner. In many cultures, enjoying a drink of Vermouth is seen as something that deserves its own special time; a time to sit, relax, appreciate the flavors, and the company that surrounds you.
In Spain, they even have a phrase for this which translates literally as ‘Vermouth Time’. This reputation that precedes it clearly demonstrates the power of Vermouth as a drink to be reckoned with.
World Vermouth Day was established to truly find a way to celebrate the remarkable achievement of those who played a part in developing this magnificent drink, as well as those who lovingly create it today. Just as the drink has become a part of social gatherings, a way to take some time out of the day and truly enjoy the moment.
World Vermouth Day encourages this activity as a way to show appreciation for the drink. In doing so, it places Vermouth in a place where it belongs, as celebrated as other spirits and wines, taking pride of place on the drinks tray.
History of World Vermouth Day
Fortified wines were consumed as long ago as 1250BC in China – that’s over three thousand years ago! However, the true origin of vermouth is probably in ancient Greece, around 400BC (still over two thousand years!) where historians have found evidence that white wines were being fortified and infused with herbal ingredients including the drink’s namesake, wormwood.
Over the centuries, the drink was then developed primarily in Germany, Italy, and France, growing more and more in prominence. In fact, vermouth was actually used quite a lot as a medicinal liquor, treating a variety of different ailments. This isn’t as strange as it might appear – after all, wormwood itself still has uses as a medicinal herb, and it is seen as particularly effective for digestive and stomach problems.
Sadly (or perhaps luckily!) the 18th century saw this medicinal use fall out of popularity. However, the drink’s popularity as an aperitif was growing, and two versions had been developed; a sweet, red type of the wine, and pale vermouth that was considered dryer and a touch more bitter. Both became incredibly popular – and the rest, as they say, is history.
That’s not quite everything though. When cocktails were invented in the 19th century, everything changed, and vermouth found a new lease of life amongst bartenders who loved using it due to the drink’s sweetness and versatility. The most famous use of vermouth is almost certainly for the martini, made extremely popular by James Bond and his ‘shaken, not stirred’ preferences.
World Vermouth Day was created by Giancarlo Mancino, and it aims to give everyone across the world a chance to celebrate, enjoy, and even discover for the first time, this incredible drink and its history.
How to Celebrate World Vermouth Day
Celebrating World Vermouth Day might seem easy at first – all you need to do is make yourself a wonderful drink of vermouth and settle down to enjoy it. However, there are many different ways you can do this, each with its own unique benefits! Vermouth can be enjoyed on its own, in European style, followed by a glorious dinner – or perhaps you’d rather indulge in a cocktail or two.
After all, the true versatility of vermouth can only be appreciated by its use in different drinks, all of which carry its signature taste. So, get into your drinks cupboard (or find your nearest cocktail bar) and whip yourself up a Martini, a Negroni, or any other of the hundreds of creations that you can make with vermouth.
If you really want to get into the spirit of World Vermouth Day, remember that this is a drink and an experience to be shared together. Have a gathering of friends and family, pour everyone a glass, and raise a ‘cheers’ to each other as you celebrate vermouth and your relationships all at the same time. World Vermouth Day, like the drink itself, is about bringing people together, so this is the perfect way to appreciate it.