Vermouth is a type of fortified wine that has been flavored with various herbs and spices. Wine can have a place on the paleo menu, and herbs and spices are certainly paleo-friendly, but what about fortified wine?
How It’s Made
The process of making vermouth involves adding extra alcohol after fermenting grapes (that’s what makes it “fortified” wine), and then adding seasonings, which vary depending on the manufacturer. The herbs and spices can offer their own health benefits, but it’s unclear how many of their antioxidant properties remain after being left to steep in alcohol. Then sugar is added, and sugar is not paleo.
But sometimes we condone eating and drinking things with a little sugar, such as dark chocolate (for those of us who haven’t worked our way up to the 100% cocoa bars yet). How does vermouth fit into that scale?
How To Consume It
Vermouth might be acceptable as an occasional indulgence, but the problem is these days, it’s most often used in mixed drinks, and you should definitely stay away from mixed drinks. They tend to have added sugars and drinking different forms of alcohol together can confuse your body and make it more difficult to process the alcohol.
If you have a recipe that calls for cooking with a little vermouth, or you want to enjoy a small glass as an aperitif, you can probably do so without worrying about too many negative effects, but avoid the martinis and manhattans.
As Mark Sisson points out, moderate alcohol consumption can have some benefits, but we don’t recommend it as a daily practice.