Vermouth is often known as a spirit due to the fact that it has an alcoholic content around 20-15%. It is often forgotten that Vermouth is in fact a fortified wine. It starts off with a dry wine, red or white – often white, that is fortified with a neutral spirit. It is then sweetened and matures in a tank with a collection of botanicals. These botanicals include classic herbs and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. The botanicals used will differ between the wineries producing the vermouths – like gin producers, the exact recipes are very rarely shared.
Most Vermouth is made in France and Italy where the process originated. There are a few boutique producers of Vermouth from the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Channing Daughters of New York State are particular note.