Glass of one of the best Spanish vermouth brands

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Glass of Spanish vermouth

Best Spanish Vermouth brands


If your idea of vermouth is a mixer that you occasionally use as in cocktails (or forget at the end of your drinks cabinet), you are in for a change of mentality. Vermouth in Spain is a cultural thing, a tradition, almost a ritual. But let’s start from the beginning: we call it “vermut” or “vermú”. And we drink it as an aperitif. Yes, chilled and alone. Or on the rocks, often garnished with an orange rind and an olive on a toothpick. Some also add a dash of sifon (local club soda), that is supposed to open up its aromas. Oh, and we mostly drink red vermouth.

And it is traditionally drunk before lunch as an aperifif, specially on Sundays, when we “go for a vermouth”. And that actually mean that we meet with friends or family around a glass of vermouth and some savory appetizers. BTW, don’t be surprised if someone tells you go to for a vermouth and ends up ordering wine or beer instead. While the ritual takes the name of a particular drink, other beverages are socially acceptable alternatives, and well as soda and juices are often served to kids participating in the vermouth ritual. The whole idea revolves about drinking before a meal while eating something to prepare your stomach for the meal: roasted almonds, potato chips, cheese, ham or cold cuts, olives, crackers, canned cockels…

A bit of history of Spanish vermouth…

Did you know the Greek doctor and philosopher Hippocrates already prepared wine and herbs concoctions that were the origin of the current vermouth? In the Middle Ages it was still called “hippocratic wine”. The name vermouth appeared later, from German wermut (wormwood, one of its traditional ingredients). And it was the Italian Perucchi who brought it to Spain and produced it in Barcelona for the first time in 1860. Soon the nearby town of Reus became the leader in the industry with some 30 producers at some point – still some of them in operation. 

And while the vermouth tradition lived low hours at the end of the XXth century, these last years it’s seen a revival, with many bars making their own vermouths served from the tap, and youngsters considering it a trendy drink (fancier than beer, and more affordable than wine), that they enjoy in fancy new “vermouterias” as well as in oldfashioned bodgegas. Here is our post about Vermouth in Barcelona for some great places to go.

One last thing before I delve into my Spanish vermouth brand recommendations. In case you are wondering, Spanish vermouth doesn’t present the bitterness that is characteristic in the French and Italian vermouths. They taste sweeter (even if they might not carry as much sugar as their European counterparts), and that’s mainly due to their combination of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom or cloves that will often remind you of a Christmas mulled wine… but chilled.

Red Spanish vermouth


De Muller Reserva

De Muller, one of the best Spanish vermouths

If you want to feel like a royal, that's the vermouth to go for, as the De Muller winery has been an official provider of the Spanish Monarchy since 1904. This is a very nicely priced Catalan vermouth that continues to follow the old recipes from their original founders in the late 1800's, and combines herbal and botanic aromas with the elegant touch of wood provided by the vats where the wine macerates.

Buy it online (under $10) >>


Martinez Lacuesta Reserva

Martinez Lacuesta is an iconic winery in La Rioja, making vermouth since 1937. The Spanish Civil War was taking place, but that didn't prevent the owner of the winery from buying the recipe and rights to produce it from a Catalan wine maker. And the same recipe continues to be used nowadays, aging the macerated wine in French oak barrels for 7 months. That provides this vermouth a unique roasted touch and coffee notes.   Buy it online for around $10 >>


Vermut Ataman

This vermouth from Cadiz (Andalousia, South of Spain) was started to be produced in 1943, but it was discontinued in 1970. Now it's produced again using base wines high in quinines to replicate the strong and bitter aromas of the aged vermouths that have been resting in their cellars for several decades.   Buy it online for around $10 >>

White vermouth from Spain


Lustau Vermut Blanco

Another Andalusian vermouth, this time from Jerez - the craddle of Spanish Sherry wine. Lustau is another centenary winery, and they use fino wines as a base for their vermouth. Their white vermouths are very herbal and balsamic, even floral, without losing its wooden bitter touch. Again, another white vermouth from Spain to serve on the rocks, not as a mixer.   Buy it online for around $10 >> (or try their acclaimed red vermouth)


Vermouth Yzaguirre Blanco Reserva

Yzaguirre is one of the most iconic Spanish vermouths, produced in Reus (Tarragona, Catalonia) in a cellar founded by a Basque wine maker. Their precious secret formula from 1876 contains some 80 different herbs and plants? Its spices and wood notes (it ages in wood for 12 months) make it perfect as an aperitif - not a mixer.   Buy it online for just over $10 >> (or try their red vermouth)


Vermut Fernando de Castilla Blanco

This veteran winery also from Jerez has been operating for over 200 years, and also uses fino and muscatel wines as the base for their vermouth. However, their combination of 27 herbs and spices and long ageing in oak allow for a dramatically different result, fruitier, intense and semi-sweet.   Buy it online for just over $10 >>

High end Spain vermouth brands


Alvear Vermouth Rojo

The Spanish vermouth with the highest qualification on the Peñin Guide (94 points) is also on the lower end of the premium pricing. Don't miss this intense and complex vermouth from a cellar in Andalusia founded in 1729. The original recipes have been recovered, including their exclusive combination of botanicals and the use of oak casks previously used for Pedro Ximenez oloroso wines.   Buy it online for just under $10 >>


Vermouth Perucchi Gran Reserva

According to the records, Augustus Perucchi was the first to ever ellaborate vermouth in Spain, back in 1876. Since then, the winery named after him has continued to produce premium vermouths, like their star Gran Reserva. This vermouth incorporates over 50 plants, herbs, spices and roots, and ages in old solera foudres for 3 years - you won't find any other like that.   Buy it online for just under $10 >>


Astobiza Vermouth Extra

A unique concept, awarded the prize to the best demi-sweet vermouth in the world in 2021. It combines Ondarrabi Zuri grapes, with cereal alcohol from their award-winning gin, and an exclusive selection of botanicals including citrus, herbs and bitter ingredients macerated individually. A small part of the resulting white vermouth is then turned into red vermouth, that is sold in a smaller bottle attached to the larger white vermouth bottle.   Buy it online for around $15 >>

Any good rosé vermouth from Spain?


Vermouth Lustau Rosé

Just for fun, allow me to recommend you this delicate and original rosé, from the Lustau winery we discussed before. To the fruitiness of fino and moscatel, they add the vibrancy of Tintilla de Rota grapes. It displays floral and sweet spices notes, that combine harmonically with the bitterness of wormwood. Serve on the rocks with a dash of tonic water, and try swapping the orange peel by a slice of pink grapefruit.   Buy it online for around $10 >>

What is your favorite vermouth in Spain?


Author Marta Laurent Veciana


Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.

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