In Spain we like to enjoy the sun, the company of our peers and take advantage of any occasion to meet up. One of those occasions is known as “vermouth time“, almost a social tradition before lunchtime.

What is vermouth?

Vermouth is liquor made of white wine, wormwood and bitter and tonic spices. There are red and white vermouths. Red is achieved by adding a little caramel to the preparation, which is sweeter than white, which has higher alcohol content.

Vermouth in Spain is a custom that does not discriminate age. It is the perfect excuse to get together with your family and spend a pleasant and relaxing time while enjoying the sun and company on a terrace. It is very common to have this drink in seaside places, because the combination between vermouth, sun and beach is well known.

How to prepare your own vermouth at home?

If you want to surprise your family or friends at your next meeting, one option is to prepare your own vermouth. Next we will explain how to do it in a simple way. For this you will need:

· A litre of wine

· Spices such as chamomile, cardamom, coriander, juniper berries or gentian (it is important that you control the proportion of spices, as these will regulate the bitterness of the drink. Add half a tablespoon of each spice).

· Half a tablespoon of wormwood or absinthe: essential for this drink. If you want it to be less bitter, you can reduce the amount to a third of a tablespoon.

· Half a cinnamon stick: it gives it a sweet touch.

· One lemon peel and one orange peel.

· Sugar: which we will caramelize if we want to obtain red vermouth.

Put the spices in a mesh bag and add them to the wine. Let it rest for a month in a dry place and away from sunlight. After that time, if you want to add colour, caramelize the sugar and add three tablespoons of that caramel to the wine (without the mesh bag) and you will have made your own vermouth.