Vermouth and Sherry: Spain's Aperitif Culture

sherry aperitif
This ritual of tomar un vermut—literally, “taking a vermouth”—is to Spain what grabbing an espresso is to Italy. It’s a social activity undertaken pretty much whenever over the course of daylight hours, preferably with a friend or three.
— Kyle Chayka, Saveur

I am inspired by the tapas and aperitif culture of Spain for a few primary reasons: culturally acceptable day drinking, abundant bite sized deliciousness, and the social gatherings that seem so full of laughter and love. Granted, I am basing this mostly on episodes of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and other TV depictions, so I am likely over-simplifying things. But, I stand by my adoration of gathering friends, eating lovely things, and drinking fortified wines.

Both sherry and vermouth are new discoveries to me (one of the many reasons this blog is the best hobby ever!) These drinks turn out to be positively lovely! Catalonians seem to have a particular penchant for vermouth, and sherry is more imbibed in Southwest Spain in the so-called sherry-triangle where the grapes are mostly grown. Are you a geek like me and want to know more? The Spruce has a fun article on discovering fortified wine, which I highly recommend if you are a novice like me. If you just want to know the basics... try serving sherry chilled as an aperitif or digestif (before or after dinner drinks, respectively) and try vermouth the same or in the simple cocktail recipe below. 

vermouth cocktail


Vermouth Cocktail

Inspired by Punch

1 1/2 ounce vermouth
splash (to taste) of soda water
orange slice

In a collins glass, or whatever glass you have lying around, add a large ice cube. Top with vermouth, splash of soda water, and an orange slice. Perfect for an aperitif before dinner, with tapas in the afternoon, or as an after dinner drink to wind down the evening.