Why do We Have Aperitifs? | Origin and History of the Vermut
Halfway between breakfast and lunch, we have the magic hour of the aperitif, when we often get the urge to have what the Spanish sometimes refer to as a vermut. The expression vermut or vermú is associated with drinks and that pleasant time of day when you have a light snack, for instance, crisps, finger food or hors d’oeuvres, and talk around the table.
The word vermut originates from the German word wermut (vermouth), which means absinthe or wormwood – the main plant that is used to flavour the wine from which vermouth is made. In fact, vermouth is simply a flavoured white wine. When the vermouth that we drink is red, that is due to the caramel added to it, not because it is made from red wine.
It is said that vermouth originated in ancient Greece, and was invented by Hippocrates, the renowned Hellenic doctor. Hippocrates soaked absinthe in wine. Absinthe is a plant with many healing properties, from which a spirit that bears its name is also made.
In the Middle Ages, vermouth was given the name of ‘Hippocratic wine’ or ‘herb wine’. Vermouth production made a first great leap in 1838 with the industrial production initiated by the brothers Luigi and Giuseppe Core. Its sale and consumption increased, associated with a certain time of day, and little by little, it took on the meaning it has today, being practically synonymous with aperitif.
The Present Day
Nowadays, we talk about the vermut time of day, which is a time between approximately 11am and 1pm, a short time that serves as a prelude to lunch. Tables are laid with white or red vermouth, cockles, olives, crisps, dried fruit and nuts, and other snacks and finger food.
At Frit Ravich, we suggest you enjoy this very Mediterranean custom with our very special crisps: Premium Aperitivo Frit Ravich. They are exceptionally crunchy and are seasoned with the ‘aperitif’ flavour. With every Frit Ravich Premium Aperitivo crisp, you will find the essence of this special time of day.