So. Vermouth ...

... it´s no longer your grandfather´s drink, & it´s definitely not the Martini & Rossi of your parents´ generation. Spain has seen a resurrection - you can now find it on tap in bars - of the aperitif, but it remains the one drink that most newcomers/visitors have yet to experience. Spanish vermouth (or vermut) is a fortified wine (normally clocking in at 15%), blended with aromatic herbs, & is considered an acceptable drink to enjoy before noon. Full disclosure: I have often drunk it after midday, Philistine that I am. Vermouth starts out as white, but morphs into its more commonly known vermilion colour thanks to the infusion of caramel, spices, & herbs, one of which is wormwood (from where "vermouth" gets its name). It´s usually served chilled & neat over ice, garnished with a citrus wedge & an olive although some prefer to add a splash of sifón, or club soda (spritzed at the table upon serving) as this diffuses its aromatic flavours. Whether you´re in the País Vasco, Cataluyná, Madrid or, as pictured above, Málaga´s oldest bodega - Antigua Casa de Guardia -, whether your vermut is red, white, or even rosé, nothing beats a glass with something salty to munch on. (Photo: Running Tab, Antigua Casa de Guardia, Málaga, Spain - © Urban Caravan Photography.)