Traditional Spanish summer drinks

by Lorraine Williamson
Spanish summer drinks

It´s June already and as the temperatures heat up, there is nothing better than a refreshing drink to cool you down. In this article, we look at some of the typical Spanish summer drinks for you to enjoy.

If you are planning a BBQ this weekend, you might want to buy a few “extras” at the supermarket to impress your guests by making some of these popular summer drinks.

There are many drinks to choose from including cocktails and mocktails, iced teas and coffees, and soft drinks – but if you are looking for something a little more “Spanish” with a bit of a kick to freshen up on a hot day, read on!

Also read: Where to enjoy the best tapas in Spain

Sangria, the most famous of the Spanish summer drinks

Perhaps the most well known of the summer drinks, Sangria has a rich history and is more than just a combination of wine, and fruits.  Sangria most likely dates to the Middle Ages when water was not always safe to drink.

People in those days would add wine mixed with spices such as cinnamon to the water to make it taste more pleasant. Similar to mulled wine. However, mulled wine is served warm and in winter.

The name, Sangria comes from blood (sangre). Therefore, the traditional Spanish version of this drink uses red wine from the Tempranillo grape in the region of Rioja. However, just about any red wine can be and is used. Although, better not to use an expensive wine as you will detract from the taste. 

Sangria is the perfect drink to order and share with your friends while are sitting on a terrace at one of Spain’s many beaches!

Versions of Sangria summer drinks

summer drinks variations

However, nowadays, there are many versions of Sangria and bars may offer white, rose, or sparkling wine options. Or even a dessert wine option.

If you are ordering Sangria or Tinto de Verano in a bar, always ask if they mix it there. The price will vary greatly from bar to bar as will the ingredients. Although some bars may simply pour it from a carton you can buy for a couple of euros in the supermarket. There is nothing wrong with this, but it may not give you the authentic flavour you are looking for.

Secret Sangria recipe

The best way to enjoy Sangria is by making it yourself and sharing it with friends. At InSpainNews, we have a secret recipe of our own. Read on if you would like us to share it with you.

Tinto de Verano

Another popular summer drinks option is Tinto de Verano. This is a much lighter version and less alcoholic than Sangria. It tends to be drunk during the day with lunch or a typical “menu del día”. It is a refreshing long drink. And the perfect summer daytime tipple. 

Red wine of the summer

Tinto de Verano means red wine of the summer and is a mix of red wine and a zesty fizzy drink with ice. Fanta lemon, Sprite or 7-up tend to be the most popular. However, casera or gaseosa would most likely be used instead especially if in a typical Spanish venta. These are like sparkling water, lemonade or soda water and tend to be quite sweet.

Some bars may offer you the option of a white wine with casera (like a spritzer) but usually the wine is a verdejo.

If you are making tinto for yourself, you may want to add a splash of vermouth for an extra kick.

ClaraSpanish summer drinks

Clara beer, or lemon beer, is a popular summertime drink. Easy to make and very refreshing, it is what would be called “shandy” in the UK.  It is light enough to drink on a hot summer day, without being too intoxicating. Furthermore, it will keep you cool while quenching your thirst. Unlike the shandy, it is usually fizzy lemon instead of lemonade that is added.

Sangria recipe

Everyone will have their own variation of this favourite, so here is ours for you to try…

  • Mixed fruit of your choice (chopped or sliced)
  • Sugar
  • Fizzy lemon
  • Fizzy orange
  • Bottle of red wine
  • Cuarenta y tres liqueur
  • Brandy
  • Cointreau
  • Ice

Put the fruit into a large jug, then add the sugar (amounts of all ingredients will vary depending on your taste or how sweet or alcoholic you like it). Then one by one, add the cuarenta y tres, brandy and cointreau, stirring as you go. Then add a bottle of red wine (a basic supermarket brand is perfect). To finish add a mix of the fizzy orange and lemon and the ice. After this, simply enjoy!


You may also like