• Luke Watson

WHAT IS VERMÚ? A simple guide

It’s tasty,

It’s healthy,

It’s spanish! (Umm... No, its not.)

It’s Vermouth! And it’s the best drink in town.

Best drink in town? the masses ask, Yes! replies Luke Watson, head brewer at HolaLukeWatson.com. Best d··· drink in town!

It’s Vermouth! And it’s the best drink in town.

But what is it!? the masses exasperatedly demand.

Vermouth, ladies and gentlemen, is the name given to a particular and special style of wine. A fortified, aromatised, and often sweetened wine, infused with a specific herb used to imbark it’s unique flavour profile into the wine.

Basically- you start with wine as the base, and you infuse the wine, quite like one might infuse the water when making a cuppa tea, with herbs and botanicals that impart their flavours and characteristics into the wine. Resulting in an aromatised wine. Once this aromatised alcoholic tea concoction is ready, it is then fortified. What does this mean? To fortify is to strengthen, in this case we are strengthening the alcohol content, by adding more alcohol, raising the overall alcohol percentage in the concoction (between 15-23% specifically.)

Finally, the key herb that was previously mentioned, and in fact where the brew derives its name from, is called, in a most Harry-Potter like fashion, Wormwood.

Wormwood, also known by it’s pseudonym Artemesia Absinthium, is a bitter herb that grows stoically under harsh conditions, and it is bitter. Really bitter.

Bitter as heart break.

Bitter as the bit o’butter Betty bought, but more bitter.

Bitter as ... I see you get the point.

Along with it’s bitter flavour profile, not sure if I’d mentioned before - it is rather bitter, it brings with it properties that aid the belly, that is to say it’s good for the gut. It opens the appetite when drank before a meal and closes the digestion as a digestif when drank after.

With all that bitter business the crowd began to pull a face with all pucker-lips like they’d just sucked on a fresh lemon slice.

Of course! All that bitter medicine needs to be washed down with a spoon full of sugar. As such, the majority of vermouth is sweetened in the end. This sweetness balances out the bitterness, and results in a sweetened, aromatised, fortified wine with a particular bitter finish caused by the indominable Artemesia Absinthium Wormwood herb.

The masses let out a sigh of relief infused with curiosity and so I, Luke Watson, go on to repeat

It’s Vermouth, and it’s the best drink in town!

Luke Watson is a Barcelona-based Vermuthiast, he hosts online classes on how to make a home-made vermouth, and spends his free time vermusing about vermiculous vermeudonyms.