In Spain, day drinking is an art. The aperitif marathon begins in the early afternoon and continues until lethargy sets in and it’s time for a siesta. The drink of choice? Vermouth. Served over ice, chilled or with soda water, bottles of the aromatized wine line the backs of bars, market stalls and bodegas.
When I arrived in Barcelona just 24 hours after getting married, I only knew vermouth as a modifier in cocktails like Manhattans, Martinis and Negronis. Soon, though, through the daily Spanish habit of tomar un vermut (taking a vermouth), I learned just how great vermouth can be in a starring role.