When the Financial Times does a story on the popularity of vermouth in your city, it’s no longer a trend—it’s a takeover.
In Barcelona, the taste for the aromatic wine, known as vermut in Catalan, means it’s popping up on menus across the city, and tapas bars are celebrating their own homemade versions.
There’s no one way to drink vermouth. Purists prefer it red, sweet and straight from a siphon bottle, while others garnish it with ice, olive and orange. It also makes a mean cocktail.
Of course the only way to know how you like your vermouth is to try as much of it as possible, and these Barcelona bars each offer their own take.
The homemade vermouth at this tapas spot comes sweet, red and in a siphon bottle. Prepped with ice and an olive, it goes well with their spicy patatas bravas, steak tartare or scallop ceviche.
Everyone here agrees that vermouth is best served garnished with orange and without ice. But if traditional is too boring for you, try their Ja-Alai cocktail, made with black vermouth, Seagram’s and a few drops of bitters.
The philosophy at this cheerful Barcelona restaurant is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Here vermouth is served as it has been for generations: red, sweet and poured into a 200ml glass with ice, olives and an orange slice. As they say, “Drinking vermouth is not just about tasting the drink, but following a tradition.”
If sipping your way through Barcelona’s bars has piqued your curiosity, head an hour-and-a-half out of town to Reus, considered the heartland of Spanish vermouth. The town’s Museu del Vermut houses the world’s largest collection of vermouth-related items (bottles, labels, vintage ads) and a restaurant where the recommended serving comes in a siphon bottle; sweet, red and with olives and orange. Their specialty, though, is vermouth mixed with ice, tonic and a slice of orange.