I missed vermut

Yzaguirre brand red (rojo) vermut, my personal favorite

Posted Jan 22, 2024

Also, I’m in Spain

Specifically, Gran Canaria, one of the Canary Islands (which, not to insult myself but very much to insult the US education system, I did not know existed until a few years ago). Last year, Connor and I went with some colleague friends to Tenerife (another of the Canaries) for about a month in January, and we had such a nice time1 that we decided to do a similar trip this year. The main changes this go-around are the location and the length of stay; we’re staying for about a month and a half.

What are we drinking?

The others in the house are fond of gin tonics, but I’m not2. Last year I mostly did rum + Coke Zero, but that got kinda boring at a certain point. For some reason, it only occurred to me this year that my favorite drink from my time living in Barcelona (the aforementioned vermut) would probably be here, since this is technically Spain. So I looked, and it is indeed here! Easy to find, a staple at restaurants, inexpensive, and as delicious as I remember. For those that haven’t had it, it’s kind of like a spiced wine or a port, not overly sweet but also not dry. You can garnish it with an orange slice or green olives (or both) and it’s best when it’s nice and cold, so there’s typically an ice cube or two thrown in. Unfortunately it’s not so easy to find in Berlin, and the vermut one does find is usually much more expensive and (in my opinion) doesn’t taste quite right. That just makes me enjoy it more while I’m here!

What are we playing?

Card games! Mostly Cabo (pronounced like “kaboom” without the “m”) and Wizard. I’ve found that my success in predicting how many tricks I’ll take in Wizard is strongly correlated with how many drinks I’ve had3. Cabo gets very competitive, and I rarely win4.

What else?

We’re in a more rural, inland area5 for the first few weeks, renting a house all together. On a weekday the typical agenda includes working, maybe individually doing a run or other workout, going to the supermarket6, and taking turns cooking dinner. We eat dinner together, after which it’s time to pull out the games. The remote working part is going super smoothly, since we all work for the same company and can help each other easily; all the benefits of co-located work with none of the downsides of having to go to the office 😉 On weekends we usually find activities that some or all of us would like to do together, like going to the beach or on a hike. The latter half of our trip here will be in the city, which is also closer to the beach, so the daily agenda will probably change a bit.

I’m having fun! I do miss Berlin (well, the people there, not the weather) but I’m definitely glad to be here.


  1. both a nice time with each other and a nice time escaping the grayest, shortest days of Berlin winter, which are the cause of everyone’s seasonal depression every year

  2. I’m of the opinion that gin tastes the way pine trees smell. This isn’t an inherently bad thing, it’s just not necessarily something I want to ingest.

  3. And by this I mean, Sober Jillian kinda sucks at Wizard, Tipsy Jillian is pretty good, and Drunk Jillian tends to be right about every hand. Inexplicable, but I have enough data points now to be confident that the correlation exists.

  4. Unfortunately this remains true regardless of changes in blood alcohol content.

  5. Santa Brígida, to be exact.

  6. Going to the Super- or HiperDino at least once a day is a tradition we’re carrying over from our time in Tenerife last year.