“The firm Martini & Rossi is the world’s largest producer of Vermouth.
“Martini and Rossi” was founded only n 1863, but vermouth – or something very much like it-dates back nearly to the threshold of history itself.
Early Mediterranean cultures are known to have improved the flavor of their date and grape wines with honey, resins, and a host of herbs and spices included pepper, cinnamon and ginger.
Besides tasting dandy and raising the spirits of people who drunk them, many of these wines were though to promote good health when combined with specific leaves and blossoms.
On of the most popular classic botanical additives was wormwood ( Artemisia Absinthum), a herb related to terragon and sagebrush and prized in many cultures for its curative powers as well as its ability to stimulate appetite and aid digestion.
Because wormwood was an important ingredient, the beverage became known as wermut- from the German word for the herb. Soon it was gallicized to vermout; and eventually, somewhere along the line, the h was tacked on to the end.
A Piedmontese wine-shop owner named Antonio Benedetto Caprano created the first commercially produced wine flavored with botanicals in 1786”. […]
“One last thing about vermouth: it’s likely the only apéritif ever to have starred in a movie –The Secret of Santa Victoria, based on a 1966 novel by Robert Chrichton and featuring Anthony Quinn and Anna Magniani. Set, in Cinzano’s hometown, the film is based on the (true) story of hardy citizens who risked torture and death to hide more than a million bottles of vermouth – the community’s only revenue source, it slaked their daily thirst and brought joy to their lives – from occupying German forces during WWII.
In Chrichton’s book, one character gives words to the villagers’ sentiments about their vermouth: “ We have grown a wine fit for the saints””!