Vermouth is to the Catalonians what aperitivo is to the Italians. Most know it as a key ingredient in their favourite classic cocktails – from the Martini to the Manhattan – but in recent years vermouth has become a hero drink on its own terms, to be enjoyed in company as the precursor to an evening of decadence. Though vermouth originally hails from Italy, a cluster of factories emerged in Catalonia in the mid 19th century, with the town of Reus becoming an epicentre for vermouth production, and it continues to produce this delectable liquor to this day.
For the uninitiated, vermouth is red or white wine that’s been supercharged by adding, for example, eau de vie brandy, mixed with herbs and botanicals for a deeper flavour, and sweetened. Though types of vermouth tend to fall into either the sweet or dry camps, a variety of styles have developed in recent years so it’s worth sampling several brands to find your preferred tipple. With a host of bars in Barcelona specialising in vermouth, it’s fair to say that this fortified wine is having something of a resurgence. So pick a venue from our list and join the locals in enjoying vermuteo.