A few years ago, bartenders were all about amaro, the bitter Italian liqueur. Then came Sherry, the fortified wine. Now, it seems people are getting excited about Spanish vermouth. Sweeter and lighter than its French and Italian counterparts (think Dolin or Martini & Rossi), Spanish vermouth started gaining popularity among hip, young Spaniards all over Barcelona and Madrid and the trend has jumped over the pond. You can take “vermouth hour” and get a bottle with friends to sit on a sunny patio and sip it on the rocks with a twist of lemon or pop into one of the following bars or restaurants and see how they’re mixing this botanical-based, aromatized fortified wine into cocktails.
Vera in Fulton Market at 1023 W. Lake
Black Bull in Wicker Park at 1721 W. Division
Salero in the West Loop at 621 W. Randolph
Mercat a la Planxa in the South Loop at 638 S. Michigan
Spanish Square in Lakeview at 1358 W. Belmont