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Vermouth time: the best moment of the day.

It's not long before lunchtime, and the bars and terraces are packed with people sitting at tables enjoying themselves. Did you realise this is the much-anticipated "vermouth time", a widespread social event that Barcelona locals are unwilling to sacrifice. Read on to find out why!

Foto Aperitiu

Few traditions have enjoyed such an impressive resurgence in recent years as meeting up to have a vermouth. In fact, getting together with friends and family before lunch for nibbles and an aperitif, is a deeply rooted custom in Barcelona and Catalonia. However, the increasing number of café terraces and bars have made it into something akin to a religion today. So much so that we use the word vermouth (the drink) to refer to the social event of sipping one at a table in the sun, with a snack and in good company. Whether you're having an actual vermouth, or replacing it with a beer or soft drink, "vermouth time" is certainly the best moment of the day.

Places to have a vermouth in Barcelona

The city, which is such a devotee of "vermouth time", has a plethora of places where you can have one, from the more traditional and historic bodegas, to the most innovative and modern vermouth bars that remain true to an enduring tradition. Here are some of our favourites:

Andreu Xarcuteria

If you want to make your experience even more complete, we recommend you have a vermouth on board a yacht or enjoy it accompanied by the best in music at the Vermut & Soul Fair. Anyone for an aperitif?

How it all started

La Vinícola

Vermouth is made from fortified wine infused with herbs, spices, roots and botanicals. Although German in origin, it was popularised by the Italians who imported it successful-ly around the world in the middle of the 19th century. However, the town of Reus, near Tarragona, is one of the world's leading producers of vermouth. Curiously enough, Reus had more than 30 wineries and 50 brands of vermouth at the end of the 19th century, despite that fact that it only had 30,000 inhabitants. This gives us an idea of its importance and the town's contribution to making vermouth so popular in Spain.

The tradition of vermouth dates back more than 150 years in Spain. Alongside other table wines from different Designations of Origin (DO), the wineries usually sold it straight from the barrel. However, the custom of meeting friends in a bar can be traced back to a specific year: 1902. This was when the Café Torino opened on Barcelona's Passeig de Gràcia, and it was here that "vermouth time" became popular. In the early days, it was considered an elitist custom, but by the 1950s, meeting for a vermouth had become the fashionable thing to do and included every social class.

The resurgence of a social event


In the early 21st century, there was a slight decline in the popularity of the drink, but with the arrival of slow living, carbon-zero and locally produced food in recent years, the tradition has experienced a strong resurgence and new bars have opened championing the drink and, by extension, the most natural way of enjoying it: "vermouth time". Nowadays, arranging to meet for a vermouth is synonymous with good times and moments of relaxation shared with friends and family. It is a popular pursuit in the city, especially on holidays. Whether you choose to have a glass of vermouth, a beer, a soft drink or sparkling water, there's one thing for sure: you can't miss out on this tradition.

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