Vermouth is an aromatised, fortified wine flavoured with various botanicals (roots, barks, flowers, seeds, herbs, and spices).
The modern versions of the beverage were first produced in the mid to late 18th century in Turin, Italy. While vermouth was traditionally used for medicinal purposes, its true claim to fame is as an aperitif, with fashionable cafes in Turin serving it to guests around the clock. However, in the late 19th century it became popular with bartenders as a key ingredient in many classic cocktails that have survived to date, such as the Martini, the Manhattan, the Rob Roy, and the Negroni. In addition to being consumed as an aperitif or cocktail ingredient, vermouth is sometimes used as an alternative white wine in cooking.
Historically, there have been two main types of vermouth: sweet and dry. Responding to demand and competition, vermouth manufacturers have created additional styles, including extra-dry white, sweet white (bianco), red, amber (ambre or rosso), and rosé.
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