With a long history dating back to the Middle Ages, when it was known as the 'wine of herbs', vermouth (wine fortified and aromatised with botanicals and spices) is a traditional apéritif which in recent years has made a major comeback in bars, restaurants and also in cocktail recipes.
The two most traditional grapes in Malaga province, Muscat and Pedro Ximénez, are perfect for vermouth, because it needs a sweet base upon which to play with bitter flavours and aromas of roots, herbs and spices. As a result, more and more wineries have recently decided to produce their own vermouths.
As well as the traditional varieties from Bodegas Antigua Casa de Guardia, Quitapenas, Málaga Virgen and Dimobe (Casa de Guardia and Dimobe each make two types), one exciting vermouth project is that of Javier Krauel, who uses the types of wine made in the family winery a hundred years ago to produce his new Vermú Krauel.
Young wineries such as Niño de la Salina (Almargen), Pérez Hidalgo (Álora), Antakira (Antequera) and Tierras de Mollina (Mollina) are also producing some very interesting vermouths because, in this aromatised wine, the mixtures and proportions are as important as the base wines (the finest ones are not used for vermouth).
If you are an enthusiast of this drink, you really should try the surprising and unique varieties being produced in Malaga. They go well with any type of snack, from hams and smoked fish to shellfish and nuts.