Some people prefer beer, others mixed drinks… The truth is that vermouth has lovers all around the world and we can imagine why. Maybe because of it’s flavour or maybe because it is the best excuse to hang out in a terrace with friends, enjoying life and tasting tapas.
In Barcelona you can find a lot of places where you can enjoy this aromatized fortified wine, that became very popular. It’s up to you to go to a cosmopolitan chic bar or a seedy spot.
Remember, don’t get carried away by appearances: sometimes the least expected place serves the best vermouth of them all.
Where to drink vermouth in Barcelona
Located in the well-known “porxos d’en Xifré” of Casa Xifré, one of the representative buildings of Barcelona and the Born district, Bodega Vidrios y Cristales recovers the classic format of a traditional neighborhood winery where quality preserves, salted meats and other aperitif classics take center stage.
So if you are in the mood for a good vermouth, this is your place. Here you will find good wines, tap vermouth and a sensational selection of cans and preserves that will surely surprise you. Salted and smoked fish, artisan canned fish, a selection of cans from small producers and an extensive wine cellar and the classic house vermouth complete the offer.
Address: Passeig d’Isabel II, 6
Quimet i Quimet
If you are looking for some good tapas and a nice lunch while enjoying one of the best vermouth in town…let me tell you this is your place. You’ll find home-brewed beer and a fine wine list, too.
For sure the ideal place for an aperitif.
Address: Poet Cabanyes, 25
La Bodegueta de Cal Pep
Maybe you are feeling in the mood for homemade vermouth, so this is it. Small and cozy, La Bodegueta de Cal Pep maintains the same essence since it opened in 1929.
You want more? they offer quality preserves and fish tapas. Good seafood appetizer without going to the typical spots in Barceloneta.
Address: Gutters, 12
Bodega La Tieta
Located in Poble-Sec, this small bar with no tables inside became the perfect place to
mingle with locals. The vibe of this is spot is nothing but true Barcelona.
Last but not least, the food is outstanding, but maybe the best choice to grab here is the chickpeas with prawns. You won’t regreat.
Address: Carrer de Blai, 1
This place is located just minutes away from the Sagrada Familia. It is a small and comfortable bar that serves their own vermouth. It’s important to emphasize that this is not the traditional style vermouth lair you may be used to seeing around the city.
One of this bar’s highlights is that they serve tasty sandwiches called clothes. These are typical of the Terra Alta region of Catalonia, which is where the winery is based.Address: Carrer Rosselló, 442
Relaxed and casual, this old fashioned vermouth bar is a legend in the Barceloneta. The best of them all is that they leave the bottle on your table and when you’re done you tell them how many glasses you’ve drunk. Great, isn’ it?
Although the food option is simple, we can surely say that is more than delicious.
Address: Carrer Sant Carles, 15
Bar Bodega Chiqui
This classic bar mixes “the old” and “the new”. Chiqui is the spot where “indies” of Barcelona are usually drinking vermouths with the ordinary customers of the house. So you can mingle with locals as well.
Vermouth is served with a siphon and very cool (and it can be bought in bulk). In addition, you can accompany it with one of the food options they have to offer. Small but cheap, it’s worth.
Address: Vilamari, 29
The place is very small, but that is also its charm. If not, you can find a place on the terrace, that is also very attractive.
Regarding vermouth, you’ll enjoy vermouth of the house that is a reserve of Reus in bulk. Brutal.
Address: Carrer de Còrsega, 699
La Vermutería del Tano
Whenever we talk about famous vermouth spots, we can’t forget about the traditional Vermutería del Tano. It is the perfect place to spend your Saturday afternoons in Gracia.
To add some joy, delight your vermouth with some of their fine tuna conserves, and definitely order a bag of artisanal potato chips with their special sauce. They are great!
Address: Carrer de Joan Blanques, 17
In the mood for some green? This is your oasis at the foot of Montjuic. You’ll feel really at home in Bar Seco. Enjoy your vermouth on a terrace with a view of the enchanting green hill.
Bar Seco boasts local and sustainable products, which would explain the simple yet magnificent menu.
Address: Passeig de Montjuic, 74
Experts have talked: Morro Fi is the name that three foodie friends chose for their blog. Then, they opened up this highly recommended bar, with the same name.
Their signature drink is their house vermouth and tapas that stand out for being really home made.
Morro Fi has a modern twist that will make you wanna come back often. However, the tapas here are as classic as ever.
Address: Carrer Consell de Cent, 171
A little bit of Vermouth history…
Its origins dates back to ancient Greece. Hippocrates is the man who created it, the one who macerated wine with wormwood and dictamus. This way, he obtaining this wine that in the Middle Ages was called “Hippocratic”, off course after its creator.
Over the years other products such as almonds, cinnamon and honey were added. Pharmacists flavored wines by grinding herbs and plants in a mortar. This art of enhancing wines survived thanks to monks, doctors and alchemists. In 1786, the creators of the modern concept of vermouth were Antonio and Beneditto Carpano in Milan.
The base was a muscatel wine, sugar, alcohol, caramel and various aromatic substances, herbs, leaves and spices to personalize the flavor. Later, the brothers Luigi and Guiseppe Cora (1838) managed to give it an industrial character and it was then that other famous brands began to appear in Italy such as Gancia (1850), Ballor (1856), Cinzano (1860) and Martini (1863)
In France, the Vermouth par excellence is Noilly Prat (1843) and, in Spain, it was produced for the first time by the Yzaguirre brand (1884). Vermouths are made from white wines; reddish tones are achieved by adding caramel.
In the production process involved elaborate mixtures of herbs similar to those found in bitters and liqueurs. This way we can find chamomile in the dry Vermouth, vanilla in the sweet white, gentian in the red and in all of them rhubarb, orris root, quinine and a hundred other herbs.
Its alcohol content ranges between 16º and 19º and it is a basic ingredient in a large number of cocktails such as the Negroni, Buñueloni, Americano, Campari 2000, Manhattan, Rob Roy or the Dry Martini.
Reus, the capital of vermouth
We bet you heard about the good quality of vermouth from Reus. The fame of this region is not in vain. First vermouth trade in Spain was in the mid-1800s, from French hands and it was the city of Reus where everything began. It was because of the quality of its wines –macabeu, xarel•lo, i parellada-, where it achieved fame, institutionalizing the Reus Vermouth as a brand.
At first, Enrique Yzaguirre and Joan Gili disputed their paternity. Later it obtained the Mayner, Quer, Iris, or Corona brands.
Reus became a very prosperous city thanks to the vermouth trade and so did the families involved in this business. They established their second homes in the city and, in the mid-19th century, many of them had modernist houses built in imitation of Barcelona’s dazzling Paseo de Gràcia.
These small family brands competed with a giant company like Martini and were able to stand up to it, move an entire province economically and internationalize their brand. Not bad, isn’t it?
Today you can try them (those that are still manufactured) all together if you visit Reus. And trust us, it is an experience you can’t miss.