Drinking Vermouth in ANTEQUERA
What is Vermouth?
Vermouth is a fortified wine that is blended with aromatic herbs.
There are two types of Vermouth: red and white.
Vermouth begins as white wine, and it is the addition of ingredients that determines the finished product in terms of taste and colour.
Some base additives are: alcohol (brandy, port or sherry), and caramelized sugar. Then a blend of herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, citrus fruit, and bitters.
Red vermouth is the sweeter version of the quite dry vermouth white.
Internationally, vermouth is often associated with cocktails, in a parallel with Martini’s or a Manhatten.
Not so in Spain!
Vermouth in Spain
In Spain, the sweeter, red vermouth is drunk. Vermut rojo.
Vermut, was traditionally a relatively cheap drink of the older generation. It is now a popular everyday drink, crossing all generations. It is often served from the tap, alongside the beer taps. (Served from the tap is de grifo).
Some of the best vermouths are served from the tap, and not from a bottle. Barcelona is the exception, where vermouth is still served from the bottle, and, people may often order a bottle for the table if socialising in a group.
Although it may be drank with ice, as an ‘on the rocks’ drink, there is no perception of it as a cocktail.
Nor is it necessarily seen as an aperitif (which in Latin – aperire – means to open your palette prior to a meal ahead).
It is a regular drink. Whilst you may be enjoying a glass of vermouth, your companions might well be drinking a cana of beer, a glass of red wine, or an anise.
Origin of Vermouth
Vermouth was originally introduced to Spain in the 19th century, by the Italians. It was brought to the small town of Reus, in Northern Spain’s Catalonia.
It proved so popular that numerous producers copied the recipe. In time it became a national drink, and is now Spain’s number one fortified wine.
It has an alcohol content of around 15%.
Some Vermouth Brands
Produced in Reus, Catalonia, where vermouth originated. It is the oldest brand.
This brand also comes from Reus, but is a relative newcomer, being firat produced in 1957. It is now though one of the biggest vermouth producing houses.
This vermouth is made by the renowned Tio Pepe. Whilst the Tio Pepe name is most associated with it’s excellent sherries, it’s reputation for quality extends to Tio Pepe produced vermouths.
This brand originates in Galicia. It is known for it’s complexity of flavours.
A great drink to keep in the fridge for when you don’t fancy a wine or spirit. Always with ice!