7 Spanish Drinks You Must Sip on this Summer

Spanish summers are intoxicating.

Whether you’re desperately trying to beat the heat in Barcelona, soaking up the sun along the southern Spanish coast, or sitting at home wishing you were living the dream in Spain, chances are you’ll be feeling a bit parched this summer.

While there’s no shortage of cerveza and sangria to be sampled, do as the Spanish do and beat the heat with one of these 7 classic summer thirst-quenchers instead!

1. Tinto de Verano 🍷🍋

Tinto de Verano in Spain

While most of the world considers sangria to be the staple Spanish summer beverage, the truth is that we don’t drink it here all that often (more on that below). The similar-looking bevvie that you see all the Spaniards sippin’ on a summer afternoon is the delicious tinto de verano – ‘summer red wine’.

The tasty tinto de verano can be made with a few different twists, but the standard recipe involves red wine, sweetened soda water and/or fizzy lemonade, and is usually served with a squeeze of summery citrus like lemons, limes or oranges.

Tinto de verano is the perfect pick-me-up for a scorching summer afternoon and can be found almost anywhere, although the recipe will vary a bit from place to place. Here’s mine, and lemme tell ya, it’s delish 😋.

    Get Up, Get Out, Get Lost with my DIY Tinto de Verano

  • Red wine
  • Soda water
  • Fizzy lemonade
  • Vermouth
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon and lime

In a large, wide mouthed glass, add ice cubes and fill just over half way with red wine. Add a generous splash of soda water and fizzy lemonade and top it off with a dash of vermouth and a squeeze of lemon and lime. Serve with a citrus wedge to garnish.

2. Clara or Clara con Limón 🍻🍋

Ever wonder why you rarely see inebriated locals, despite the seemingly prevalent social drinking culture in Spain?

Take the clara con limón, for example. What looks like a table tippling caña after caña (glasses of beer) is often times simply a shandylocal light beer diluted with either sweetened club soda (clara) or lemon Fanta (clara con limón).

Claras are light, refreshing, and perfect for keeping cool without losing your cool on a long afternoon of banter and beverages on a Spanish terraza. Everyone has their own ratio preference of beer to mixer and no one is shy about ordering their clara exactly as they like it (half and half, a splash of lemon, a splash of beer, etc.)

Most of the Spanish domestic beers offer their own version of the clara con limón as well. Guess you’ll have to keep trying them until you find your perfect taste. 🤷

3. Vermút and Yayos 🥃

Vermouth in La Latina, Madrid

For me, nothing evokes the sensation of Spanish summer like sipping a Sunday afternoon vermouth beneath the scorching Madrid sun in a crowded barrio La Latina plaza. Served over ice with a slice of citrus and an olive as garnish, it’s the perfect way to while away an endless summer afternoon.

While most North Americans think of vermouth simply as a mixer to splash on more elaborate cocktails, the Spanish have perfected the art of crafting artisanal vermouths that are not only suitable to drink on their own, but delicious and full of flavor.

Traditionally, the best vermouth comes de grifo (from the tap), but in recent years many distilleries have been working on perfecting craft vermút which is sold in bottles and can be taken home as a souvenir. My favorite is Vermut Malasañaa 100% artesanal vermouth without added sugars or preservatives.

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madrid 🍷 vermut 💜 #oldhabitsdiehard

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If you’re looking for something that packs a bit more punch (and with some incredible ambiance!), head down to Madrid’s legendary Casa Camacho in barrio Malasaña. Camacho’s is a truly traditional bar that has been owned and run by a trio of brothers since la movida madrileña in the 1980s and, legend has it, invented the yayo – vermút de grifo with a generous splash of gin.

4. Sangria 🍷🍋🍎

Spanish Sangria

So, it’s not like Spanish people don’t drink sangria – they just don’t often drink it out at restaurants where it’s likely to be mass-produced and sold from a bottle or tap. The real deal is as incredible as you’ve imagined it – and is lovingly made from scratch.

Real sangria is made with red wine, a variety of fruit such as cherries, oranges, lemons and apples, and a splash of brandy or rum. It’s prepared in advance in a big jug to give the flavors time to infuse and meld together, and is more commonly served at parties or less crowded, non-touristic eateries. If you’re out to eat and overhear a Spaniard ordering sangria at a restaurant, it’s a safe bet that it’s the real deal and not the manufactured stuff. Order up!

Wanna try it at home? Here’s my easy to follow version of the good stuff.

   Get Up, Get Out, Get Lost with this DIY Sangria

  • 2 bottles of red wine
  • 3 thinly sliced oranges
  • 1 or 2 thinly sliced lemons or limes
  • Whatever fruit you fancy – I use a variation of apples, cherries (yum!), blueberries and water else I have on hand that sounds like a good fit
  • 1 splash of brandy or Caribean rum
  • 1 splash fizzy lemonade or seltzer water
  • a cinnamon stick if you have one on hand
  • 1 or 2 big teaspoons of raw sugar

Mix all of the above in a big jug and let it sit for a few hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to infuse. Serve over ice with a slice of orange to garnish and enjoy!

5. Calimocho 🍷

Spanish Calimocho (or Kalimoxo)

While it’s my least favorite on the list, many Spaniards swear by this mix of wine and cola. My guess is that people drink it because it brings them back to their younger years of botellóning, the long-running tradition of Spanish teens drinking and dancing outside with their friends before they hit the legal drinking age.

This is a very simple mix of either red wine with dark soda (not a fan) or white wine with light sode (much tastier). It’s often a crowd favorite during the crazy summer festivals as a means of diluting the wines potency (and not having to find a bathroom as often as you’d have to if you were sippin’ cerveza!)

6. Volcanic White & Pink Wine from the Canary Islands 🍷

Sweet, White Volcanic Wine from the Canary Islands (Spain)

Granted, I’ve spent most of the last four years in the Canary Islands so I could be a bit biased on this one, but the sweet and semi-sweet white wine and rosé from the Canaries is a perfect libation to laze the summer days away, whether you’re in the middle of the Atlantic or back in the mainland.

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#xinxin 🥂🍾🌅

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The Canary Islands produce many variations of wine, but to beat the heat I’m partial to the volcanic white wine produced primarily in Tenerife and Lanzarote, the Isle of Fire. Some of my favorite Canarian wines to look out for are Yaiza (Lanzarote), Miradero (Tenerife) and Brumas de Ayosa (Tenerife).

7. Gin & Tonic 🍸

Gin & Tonic Summer in Spain

When in Spain, do as the Spanish do.

Gin & tonic has been all the rage in Spain since I moved here in 2011, and it’s not hard to see why… they actually know how to make them properly.

Rather than a splash of tonic and a wedge of lime, here each G & T is artfully crafted with herbs and spices uniquely selected for the particular gin, creating cocktails that are aromatic and flavourful.

Gin & Tonic in Spain

While “gintonics” are a popular drink all year in Spain, there’s something particularly refreshing about the mix on a hot summer night, preferably paired with some live music and good banter. If you’re new to G & Ts, my absolute favorite is the Spanish gin Nordes from Galicia, or try Puerto de Indias from Sevilla if you’re new to gin and looking for something a bit sweeter.

What Will You Sip on this Summer?

Have any other favorite Spanish libations to cool down on a hot summer day? I’d love to hear about them below! Until next time, cheers! 🍻

Salud, dinero y amor,
Erica ☀️✌️💙

7 Spanish Drinks You Must Sip On This Summer (1)

© Erica Edwards and getupgetoutgetlost.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Erica Edwards and getupgetoutgetlost.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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19 Comments Add yours

  1. Anja says:

    Oh Erica, your post make me miss Spain! Last time I visited Spain was 10 years ago, when I spent two months working in Zaragoza. We mostly drank local Ambar from the tap- nothing better on a hot summer afternoon, especially as it was soccer world cup and we watched all the games in bars, rooting for Croatia! Happy times! I did not know there is such thing as artisanal vermouth, or vermouth from the tap in bars. I want to try it! Also, Calimocho is called “bambus” in Croatian, and it was a popular drink when I was a teenager as well. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Erica says:

      Sounds like you made some great memories in Zaragoza! It’s funny how traditions like the World Cup can make us nostalgic for journeys and moments of the past. I watched the last World Cup from Siem Reap in Cambodia and those memories have come to mind so often as I’ve watched the matches this time around from Spain!

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  2. Milijana says:

    Hello from one more reader from Croatia,

    Like Anya commented above, in Croatia Calimocho is called Bambus and it is very popular across the country.

    I am a huge fan of gin & tonic, or gin & bitter lemon during hot summer nights.

    xoxo Milijana

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica says:

      Cool, I didn’t know that this was also common in Croatia! I’ve only visited in winter and sampled some delicious hot wine, but I’m dying to get back to the Croatian seaside in summer!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh, I want to try them all ! But I guess the only problem is choosing which one? Probably for me the Sangria – that’s a classic

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica says:

      I can give you some advice to help you with the problem of choosing which one…. try them all! 😆

      Like

  4. Though we are teetotallers, some of these drinks look really cool and refreshing especially considering the Spanish summers. Also the Clara Con Limon looks really mild and refreshing, probably something that we can try out. Like the look of Tinto De Verano too, looks so colourful.

    Like

    1. Erica says:

      I’d never heard the term teetotallers before and just looked it up, thanks for teaching me something new 😉 I have some teetotaller friends who order the clara con limon with non-alcoholic beer (very easy to come by in most establishments) just because they enjoy the light, summery flavor – perhaps that might be right up your alley!

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  5. I don’t drink very often, but I can make an exception in Spain as I love so many of the local drinks. Tinto is wonderful, and I’m so pleased to have the understanding of how to get good Sangria – I’ll definitely keep my ears and eyes open for it being ordered by someone who isn’t a visitor. Your recipe just might get made here too… Craft vermouth seems really interesting, and something I’ve not tried.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica says:

      If you make the sangria, I’d love to hear what you think about! Cheers 😉

      Like

  6. Yukti says:

    I don’t drink or you can say a few drinks in a year, but these drinks sound very exotic. I loved the combinations of these Spanish drinks and I am circulating this post to my friends, as they love Spanish drinks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica says:

      Thanks, Yukti! One of the things I love about these citusy summer drinks like the clara con limon or tinto de verano can be prepared so light on alcohol that even my non-drinking friends are comfortable with giving them a try. Non-alcoholic beer is also available in most cafés, so you could also give it a try that way ☺

      Like

      1. Yukti says:

        Ok gr8 then I have to try this

        Like

  7. Juliette S says:

    Wine and cola?! I’ve heard of wine and lemonade spritzers but really not too convinced on wine and cola! Each to their own. I always imagine Spanish drinks to be light and a little citrusy. I do like a good sangria when made properly…but a bad one is terrible!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica says:

      I’m totally with you on the sangria! Whenever I come back home to California my friends always joke that I’m a sangria snob when they want to order it out at a restaurant 😂 Cheers!

      Like

  8. Mel Butler says:

    You had me at Spanish drinks 🙂 and some of these are already my favourite like the Gin & Tonic. However, I wouldn’t mind trying Vermút and Yayos that sounds different. You know that I like coke and red wine mixed together and I remember trying it in Spain 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica says:

      Yeah, it definitely seems that I’m in the minority in not liking the calimochos, I guess because I’ve never been much of a coke drinker! I do love a well-mixed g&t for sure, and you have to try the vermouth next time you’re in Spain!

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  9. I’m not so sure and the wine and coke mix! I’ve never heard of that before – I think the only drink on the list I’d actually heard of was Sangria haha! I need to broaden my Spanish drinking repetoire, clearly! x

    Like

  10. Robert Williams says:

    We love to have a few drinks while travelling! These 7 drinks sound great for summer. Thanks for sharing the recipe of Sangria… I think I´m going to try to make it. 🙂

    Like

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