Know your Algonguin from your El Diablo
Sometimes it can appear that us bartenders are speaking in a foreign tongue, this page helps to get us all speaking the same language.
Vermouth is a fortified wine, flavored with aromatic herbs and spices ("aromatized" in the trade) such as cardamom, cinnamon, marjoram and chamomile. Some vermouth is sweetened; however, unsweetened, or dry, vermouth tends to be bitter. The person credited with the second vermouth recipe, Antonio Beneddo Carpano from Turin, Italy, chose to name his concoction "vermouth" in 1786 because he was inspired by a German wine flavoured with wormwood, an 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 in vermouth were originally used to mask raw flavours of cheaper wines, imparting a slightly medicinal "tonic" flavour.