The roots of Vermut de Reus extend to 1858, when Reus was the center of the Catalan wine trade. Producers from Penedes, Priorat and Terra Alta would bring their wines and brandies to Reus to sell, and by 1900 the expression “Paris, London and Reus” denoted the epicenters of the contemporary wine trade. Reus became a center of vermouth production to rival that of Torino and Chambéry, and prior to the outset of the Spanish Civil War, there were some 30 firms producing vermut in Reus alone. The house of Emilio Miró is one of the few survivors of this age and today is the most prominent remaining producer of Vermut de Reus. The tradition of La Hora del Vermut (Vermouth Hour) is once again a late afternoon fixture throughout Spain, especially in Catalunya, and the sweet red (rojo) variety is found in nearly every café and vermuteria—on ice, with olives and an orange slice (spritz optional). Meanwhile, bartenders are discovering that the subdued sweetness of Timbal Vermouth shines in classic cocktail proportions as tastes run toward drier yet no less flavorful formulations.
Credit: Haus Alpenz