2012 11/11

Laurie’s Barcelona Love Story

photo of the beach at Barceloneta

The beach at Barceloneta

“I first visited Barcelona just under four years ago. It was an unplanned visit but one that would set me up to fall helplessly in love with the place. I was on a four-month sabbatical from my job in London to focus on my ‘other’ life as an artist. I had started off in a small village in France but it was there I realised it wasn’t the peace and quiet or nature that was inspiring me but the vibrancy and energy of a city. So I headed to Barcelona. I arrived in to BCN at Arc de Triomfand had a while to wait for a friend so I grabbed an ice cream and sat by the exit to the metro watching the city fall in to its afternoon routine. Coming from London, where everything runs at an acutely fast pace, I felt an extension of time in the way the people of BCN went about things.

photo of Barceloneta

The streets of Barceloneta

After I met my friend we grabbed a drink in the back streets of Barceloneta, an area which would soon become a real favourite of mine, and decided the only thing to do as a new visitor to the city was to head to the beach and jump in the sea. We quickly stripped down and threw ourselves into the water diving in and out of the waves. At one point I turned back to look at the city around us and felt a further sense of adoration for the place. Something about being in the water surrounded by the throngs of a city, but more than that, a sense of energy from the place that I couldn’t quite place yet. I felt it had welcomed me with open arms instantly. No judgement. Read the rest of this article…

2011 08/07

Cala del Vermut – Vermouth in Barcelona

So what is vermouth?

“Vermouth (pronounced ‘ver-məθ [UK] or /vərˈmuːθ/ [US]) is a fortified wine flavored with various dry ingredients. The word “vermouth” comes from the German word wermut for wormwood that has been used as an ingredient in the drink over its history. The modern versions of the beverage were first produced around the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Italy and France. Vermouth was consumed as a medicinal libation until the latter 19th century when it became an important ingredient in many of the first, classic cocktails, such as the martini.” Wikipedia

Cala del Vermut

Cala del Vermut, c/ Magdalenes, 6

Now my knowledge of vermouth is limited to say the least. I always associated it with the Italian red vermouth, Martini Rosso. A foul drink as I remember. A drink from a different era. A drink my parents drunk at dinner parties. I’d tasted it, but generally it was to be avoided. Maybe in the odd cocktail, but on its own, no thank you.

And then I moved to Barcelona and was taken to my very first ‘vermut’ bar, Cala del Vermut, where they serve their own label, Catalan brewed, Spanish vermouth on tap. It comes in a tall straight glass, with ice and a green olive. It was fantastic. I loved it. The perfect apéritif. And at €2 it is an absolute bargain. Read the rest of this article…

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