vermouth Fortified wine (about 16% alcohol by volume) flavoured with herbs and quinine. French vermouth is dry and colourless; Italian may be red or white and is sweet. Drunk as an aperitif, either with soda or with gin or vodka (a martini). Name originally derived from German Wermut for wormwood, a toxic ingredient that was included in early vermouths (see absinthe). Sweet or Italian vermouth, 15–17% alcohol (by volume), 12–20% sugar (by weight). Dry or French type, 18–20% alcohol, 3–5% sugar.
ver·mouth / vərˈmoō[unvoicedth]/ • n. a red or white wine flavored with aromatic herbs, chiefly made in France and Italy and drunk mixed with gin.
vermouth white wine flavoured with wormwood, etc. XIX. — F. vermout — G. wermut (see WORMWOOD), with assim. to the early G. sp. wermuth.
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