homemade vermouth

Vermouth is one of the easiest drinks to make at home, since it basically involves macerating wine with various herbal ingredients, but especially with wormwood and spices. In this article, we will learn how to make this aromatic wine in a traditional way, with very simple ingredients that you can find in any supermarket.

The history of vermouth takes us to Italy in the mid-eighteenth century, specifically to the year 1789 when Antonio Benedetto Carpano, a worker at a distillery in the city of Turin, thought he could create a new drink by mixing wine from muscatel grapes with a series of herbal ingredients, spices and fruit infusions. According to the story, he learned the original recipe from some monks at the Valsesia monastery in Germany, so he decided to call his drink Wermut, which in German means “the great absentee”. 

Although the first to be produced was the Italian vermouth, usually known as Negroni, over time this drink spread throughout Europe, as it is a very tasty wine with little alcohol content, as vermouth usually does not exceed 23 degrees. In Spain it became very popular, especially in the Levante area and, today, Catalan vermouth is one of the most appreciated by lovers of this drink.

Thanks to its composition based on herbal and fruit ingredients, it is a good digestive, which is why the so-called “vermouth hour” became popular in many parts of the world, which is usually before eating and where people gather to drink an aperitif with vermouth, as it helps to “whet the appetite”.

The vermouth recipe

If you want to know what vermouth contains , Antonio Benedetto’s original recipe was based on an infusion, that is, a maceration, of chamomile, saffron, cloves, orange peel, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. To this he later added roots of various plants such as gentian, bellflower, angelica and ginger. 

However, the vermouth recipe is very versatile, so new ingredients were soon introduced, completely changing its flavour, color and aromas. In this sense, black or red vermouth contains wormwood and is made with red wine, so it has a more bitter taste and also an amber or red color. On the other hand, white vermouth, which is made with white wines and without wormwood, tends to have a finer and sweeter flavor.

How to make vermouth at home

To make a homemade vermouth you will need the following ingredients:

1 liter of red wine or white wine.

1 tablespoon and a half of dried wormwood.

1 tablespoon of chamomile leaves.

2 cloves.

2 sage leaves.


Cinnamon stick.

Orange or lemon peel.

Half a tablespoon of gentian.

3 tablespoons of sugar.

If you want to know how to prepare this drink correctly, in addition to the vermouth ingredients, you will need some utensils. The first will be a wide glass jar or an empty bottle, in it you will put all the ingredients to macerate, in this case, the ideal is that you use a jar to make the mixture and a bottle to store the vermouth when you finish. You will also need a long wooden spoon, which is used to mix ingredients and a strainer, to filter the result and remove all the remains.

To start, take the wide-mouth container you have chosen and place the white or red wine inside, depending on whether you want to make black or white vermouth. Inside the wine add half of all the spices and the lemon and orange skins. Cover the container well, so that no air enters, and let the contents marinate for at least three days. Once a day, you have to uncover the container and stir the contents so that the herbs mix well.

One of the secrets of how to prepare vermouth correctly is filtering. To do this, you must transfer the liquid to another container using a strainer to remove all impurities. In this sense, the ideal is to combine the strainer with coffee filters that will prevent the smallest particles of herbs from slipping through.

Once clean, add the sugar and the rest of the spices that you have left. Let the contents rest again, this time in a dark, dry place, such as a pantry or closet. It is important to keep the container away from sunlight, as this could affect the chemical reactions of the ingredients and spoil the final flavor.

At this point, you will have to wait about 15 days, during which you can stir the content from time to time so that the herbs and the rest of the ingredients are well incorporated, releasing all their aromas and flavors. At the end of this time, you must strain the content again, paying special attention that herbal particles do not filter out, and add the remaining liquid to a glass bottle, to have your homemade vermouth ready.

Now that you know what vermouth is and how you can prepare your own, it’s time to enjoy it. You can prepare the vermouth with ice, an orange peel and an olive, being perfect to drink mid-morning or before meals.

Of course, if you are going to drink vermouth, forget about taking your motorcycle for a ride, since you should never drive after drinking alcohol. In this sense, if you are looking for the best parts for your motorcycle, do not forget to review a comparison of motorcycle tires, to choose the most suitable for your vehicle, that allow you to circulate safely.

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