If you want to embrace a tradition from Madrid, I’d suggest “la hora del vermut” as the most rewarding one. Even though in the rest of Europe (like the Italian “aperitivo”) the typical time for vermouth is before dinner, in Spain we’re different. The aperitif time is in the afternoon, just before our lunch, so around 12:00-13:00.
In Hermanos Vinagre, they have taken the traditional Spanish appetizers and given them a spin. The menu is small but delicious and original. Mainly made up of preserved, marinade, pickled and smoked products of very high quality.
My favorite plate is the huge natural steamed cockles accompanied by lime and homemade hot sauces. But of course, the great classics are the Gilda (named after Rita Hayworth character because it’s salty and a bit spicy) that combines pickled guindilla peppers, white anchovies and green olives on a toothpick; and don’t forget to ask for a home-made “vermú” with “sifón” to drink.