Q: Does vermouth have the same health benefits as wine?
A: Vermouth starts out as a dry wine, then herbs and spices are added to it, and then it is further fortified with spirits, bringing it up to about 18 percent alcohol. There are both dry and sweet vermouths; the sweet versions have sugarcane or caramelized sugar added to them.
Early versions of aromatized wines were created in Greece and Rome in part for their perceived health benefits. The idea was that the added herbs, particularly the bitter ones, aid in digestion. It eventually evolved from health elixir to cocktail ingredient or standalone tipple by the end of the 18th century.
Our understanding of medicine has certainly changed since ancient Greece, and we now know that wine may offer myriad health benefits when consumed in moderation. While red wine gets much of the attention, white wine contains beneficial polyphenols as well, and alcohol alone appears to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. However, there has been little health research that particularly addresses the consumption of vermouth, so you should consult your physician before making it a part of your diet.
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