Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spain/Portugal >
Oct 26, 2013 06:46 AM

Spanish vermouth / aperitif / digestif

I'm off to Marbella this week and keen to hear from anyone with experience of Spanish versions of the above that are a match for their more popular Italian and French cousins - for gin and bourbon based cocktails.

Also, has anyone had Licor 43 with suggestions for simple cocktails?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The original comment has been removed
      1. re: JuanDoe

        Thanks JuanDoe

        How do you drink them?

        Have you ever tried any of them in a Manhattan, Negroni or other similar cocktail?

        1. re: ASingh

          Vermouth in Spain is drunk straight, on ice or with seltzer. I don't think it's used much for cocktails as Spain does not really have the kind of cocktail culture you now find in English speaking countries.

          1. re: SnackHappy

            ...but there are some pretty serious gin & tonic bars and menus to be found.

            1. re: caganer

              Oh, I will be sure to be try GinTonic Spanish style. Here is a another thread I started recently


              So far, my ultimate G&T is Tanqueray Ten, Fever Tree tonic and squeeze (and slice of lime)

              1. re: caganer

                Indeed, the Spanish have gone crazy for gin & tonic. So much so that they are willing to pay some pretty outrageous prices for what is a relatively cheap drink to make.

            2. re: ASingh

              In Spain vermut is a drink in itself for the most part. It's often served simply with club soda (or a soda siphon to add yourself) and usually a sharp flavored garnish like lemon, an olive, even a dash of vinegar.

              Though I've had plenty of negroni(s) in Spain as well.

              I think, and this is a big generalization, that Spanish vermut usually has less of a sweet vanilla flavor than some of the well know Italians like Carpani Antica and is maybe more bitter.

              1. re: caganer

                Thanks guys

                @caganer - I have a week to experiment with the different varieties! Manhattan is probably my favourite cocktail, especially during the gloomy British winters. While people rave about Carpani Antica, it's not meant to be very good in a Manhattan, overpowering the drink

                Re Negronis, I am interested to try in Spain as much for the variation in Gins used. I am obsessed with Gin at the moment but have yet to try any from Spain including Gin Mare which is now starting to be stocked over here.

                My plan is to hit the best cocktail bar/s in Marbella and order Manhattans and Negronis. Any I like, I will persuade the bartender to give up the recipe!

                1. re: ASingh

                  I am a bit of a Antica devotee for my Negroni but came across another good one recently "Mancino Vermouth" - it's not Spanish, but made in Italy. It's worth trying to find.

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Out of interest, what gin do you normally use?

            1. re: PhilD

              Lots of information there. Will check some of these out

            2. Hi!

              Vermouth in Spain is now usually drunk straight ( soda tometimes), but there is a long tradition of adding shots of gin , making kind of Negroni.

              I remember people saying " ponle ginebra para quitarle el dulce", " add gin to make it less sweet".

              1. Yzaguirre (Reus) seems fairly widespread at bars. I have had Perucchi (Barcelona) and Lacuesta (Haro). I use them interchangeably with Dolin or Punt e Mes or Cocchi or Vya.

                I have Licor 43 in my bar at home and have not found a great use of it (apart from having straight or with soda or tonic). I periodically use it as a substitute for any recipe that requires an amaro (or sometimes just a dash or two in lieu of a conventional bitters). Slate had an article ... let me see if I can find it. It was ostensibly about rum and coke but it discussed making a coca cola like drink from liquors. I have tried to do the same. In fact they talk about a mix based on Ramazotti which is my go-to for a digestif that tastes like coke. I just use Ramazotti and tonic water but they recommended using Licor43,Galiano, Benedictine and Chartreuse (green).

                I brought back Gin Mare on my last trip to Spain and have really enjoyed it. I have had Gin Xoriguer as well and liked it but less than Gin Mare.

                1 Reply
                1. re: klsalas

                  Currently in Marbella so will see if I can pick any of these up.

                  I went on my first mission yesterday, to a bar recommended for their cocktails. Seeing Negroni and Manhattan on the menu was a good start. When I asked which whiskey they use in the Manhattan (thinking Bourbon or Rye), I was met with the response 'Jim Beam or Southern Comfort!'. I nealry walked out then but ended ordering an above average Gin cocktail. Then I got talking to the owner and found she was from Barcelona and takes her Gin very seriously - not to mention has a very good selection.

                  So, I had a mini tasting lat night with the intention to pop in every night to try different G&T combinations. Last night I had the following

                  Gin Mare with sprig of Thyme (tasty, almost felt like after dinner drink)
                  Brockmans with pieces of raspberry and strawberry (absolutely delicious)

                  Both were served with Fever Tree tonic

                  From memory, she also carries these

                  Tanqueray Rangpur
                  Tanqueray Ten
                  No 209
                  London No 1
                  Fifty Pounds

                  And a few more I have forgotten