Summer drinks



Cooling Spanish summer drinks

If when you last had sangria you drank three decanters and ended up on the floor of a bar in Benidorm, I can well understand why your stomach twists just by hearing the word. But past is past and Sangria and other Spanish summer drinks can be very refreshing in the heat. And they are as easy to make at home as it is to order them at a restaurant .


Tinto de verano (summer redwine)

This simple and tasty summer drink is much more popular than sangría among the locals. The recipe is simply red wine (vino tinto) served over ice cubes and mixed (about 50/50) with sweet soda. If you ask for Tinto de verano at your local tapas bar, the waiter will usually ask if you want the con Casera , which means a Sprite type of carbonated soft drink, or con limón , where red wine is mixed with lemon soda. If you make it at home or prefer a less sweet version, you can mix 1/3 red wine, 1/3 lemon soda and 1/3 unsalted soda. Some people like a splash of vermouth, and others squeeze in some fresh lemon or orange juice. Regardless, it is an affordable and colorful drink and a good use of old red wine quarters.


To get a good sangria, it is important to have plenty of overripe, juicy fruit. Orange, lemon, peach, pears, apricots, plums and even bananas go well. The fruit is mixed with reasonably priced red wine, lemon soda and sugar. For especially festive occasions, you can throw in a splash of brandy, Triple Se, vodka or rum. It gives significantly better taste if you leave the sangria to "pull" for a while before serving. This is not as easy to achieve in nightclubs and bars, and may be one of the reasons why locals prefer Tinto de Verano over Sangria. As a variation, you can make Sangría Blanca, where you replace the red wine with white wine or cava. 



This typical Andalusian drink, which is related to a mojito, is especially popular at local férias and other summer celebrations. As with all local specialties, the content varies depending on who the mixer is and where it is made. The most common recipe requires two parts sherry (a dry Fino or a more fruity Manzanilla) and one part carbonated soft drink. Pour these into a large glass jug with ice cubes and lots of freshly cut Hierbabuena. If you do not have access to this herb, it can be replaced with others from the mint family. It is common to include some brown sugar in the jug. You can use tonic or soda instead of soda. Served with ice cubes in a tall glass, topped with a sprig of herbs. 



As for the Spaniards' beloved cerveza, in addition to drinking pure beer, they also serve their local version of a shandy. You can order una clara (beer with Sprite) or clara con limón , which is beer with a splash of lemon soda. The word shandy comes from the old British name "shandy gaff" which was a mixture of lagers and ginger beer popular in the 19th century. Today there are a number of varieties. In Germany, shandy goes by the name "radler", while a glass of "panaché" is common in Switzerland, Belgium and France.

To our Nordic ears, it may sound a little strange to mix wine or beer with soda and soda. At least it is not because you want to save on alcohol, because in Spain affordable alcohol often costs less than soft drinks and bottled water. The simplest explanation for this summer drinking tradition is that people need more liquid in the heat and that the Spaniards also usually do not drink enough water. Spain's social drinking culture has adapted to the climate, so you can enjoy a cooling drink or two, and still stay on your feet.