Tucked away on a sunny backstreet in the charming neighbourhood of Gracia, you’ll find La Vermutería del Tano: a time warp and one of Barcelona’s best vermouth bars.
This living museum is a remnant of the good ol’ days and has been serving home-brewed vermouth since before the local hipsters who are leading the resurgence were even born!
The atmosphere is warm and familiar, with a mix of sun-soaked locals propped up at the bar and groups of friends sitting at heavy marble and iron tables. Antique clocks and wooden wine barrels grace the walls and vintage posters hang where they have hung since they were new. Everyone seems to know each other, shaking hands and adding to the jovial soundtrack with crescendos of “Hola guapo, que tal?!” and “Adeu! Fins demà!“
The Vermouth at La Vermutería del Tano
Mariesel, the bubbly bartender on shift, explained humbly that: “Our vermouth is not like Martini, eh, it’s our own house brand.” And when she cranked open one of the small wooden doors of the giant fridge, which looks like a navy ship’s engine furnace, a row of industrial-looking canisters were revealed in all their glory. She hesitated, stopping for a moment to stroke her chin before making her considered selection and pouring us two small glasses.
It tastes sweet and slightly spicy, and as Mariesel so eloquently told us: “It goes down very well, but be careful with the second one!” Needless to say, at only €1.60 a glass, you’ll be needing all the advice as you can get by the end of your visit.
The bar is stocked with a small selection of classic tapas dishes: olives with anchovies, cockles and muscles. Remember, this is a place to enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif, not a restaurant.
Make it Happen
Swing by for a pre-dinner aperitif at around 7pm. The bar starts to really pick up at around 8pm. Drink vermouth, eat tapas, and discuss your dinner plans in style.
La Vermutería del Tano is particularly lively on the weekends, when it fills with revellers who come to warm up for a day of serious drinking and eating. I believe this is what they call living the good life.
Address: Carrer Joan Blanques, 17, 08012, Barcelona
Nearest Metro: Joanic (L4)
Opening Times: Tues – Friday 09:00 to 21:00, Sat and Sun 12:00 to 16:00
More Info: www.facebook.com/VermuteriaTano
Words and photos by Ben Holbrook