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5 Spanish Drinks I Can't Live Without

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Earlier this year I posted about the 5 Spanish dishes I can't live without, but what would a divine Spanish meal be without a tasty libation to accompany it? As if the mouthwatering gastronomy wasn't enough, I'm also spoiled by the variety of delicious beverages that this country has to offer. Here are my five favorite Spanish drinks that I can't imagine life without:

Tinto de Verano

Comprised of red wine and lemon Fanta or Casera, this is what the locals drink in lieu of sangria. This refreshing beverage is perfect for hot summer days, tapas crawling and lively outdoor terraces. Although it translates to "summer wine",  I prefer to drink it all year round - especially when it's paired with huevos rotos or tortilla!

Where to Order It In Madrid: Any sunny outdoor terrace


Red Wine

Recently, Spain has surpassed both Italy and France by becoming the world's biggest wine producer. While 86% of Spanish wine is shipped abroad, many quality bottles can still be found here at a shockingly low price. Just 2,50€ for my favorite glass of Rioja? Sold. The two superstars of Spanish reds include Rioja and Ribera del Duero; Riojas are lighter and fruiter, while Riberas are smokier and fuller bodied. I'm personally a big fan of both, although lately I find myself ordering Riberas more often.

Where to Order It In Madrid: De Vinos, Casa Gerardo Almacén de Vinos


Cortados

While most people I know prefer to start their morning with a café con leche, I get my energy from sipping several cortados throughout the day. Served as a shot of espresso with a splash of milk, its petite size packs a punch without tasting overwhelmingly strong.

Where to Order It In Madrid: Toma Café, La Bicicleta, Federal


Mojitos

Although mojitos don't actually originate from Spain, Madrid is abounding with bars and restaurants that serve sublime versions of this classic Cuban cocktail. These refreshing libations are best served on a warm evening, preferably as you await a feast of gourmet pintxos. Don't shy away from flavor-packed variations such as berry, watermelon or passion fruit!

Where to Order It In Madrid: Lateral, Lolina Vintage Café


Vermouth

As the capital's chosen aperitif, this sweet drink has become thoroughly engrained into madrileño culture. Around noon - especially on Sundays - you can find many locals partaking in la hora de vermut, or "the hour of vermouth" over pre-lunch appetizers. The undertones of cinnamon and nutmeg pair perfectly with Campo Real olives, Marcona almonds, and a myriad of other savory tapas.

Where to Order It In Madrid: Bodegas Ricla, Bodega de la Ardosa



What are some of your favorite Spanish drinks?
Are there any that you can't live without or are dying to try?

40 comments on "5 Spanish Drinks I Can't Live Without"
  1. My favourite Spanish drinks are horchata and sangría de cava in the summer, and cortado corto de café all year long :)

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  2. Mine is pretty much…..beer. I know you can't drink it, but since I'm trying to trim up, I realized how much of it I drink! I'll be in Madrid this weekend sipping vermut, without a doubt, though!

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  3. Since arriving in Spain a mere 3 weeks ago, I have indulged in all of these, with the exception of vermut. I'll have to try it based on your recommendation though! Also, I enjoy Rioja and Ribera del Duero, but seeing as though I live in Rioja, it's a little more difficult to bring myself to order a Ribera del Duero...

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  4. Uhm ... hello perfect Thirsty Thursday post! :) BEAUTIFUL pictures as always!

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  5. ...I haven't even had any sangría, yet--this MUST be rectified!!...

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  6. Are you a fan of gin tonics, too? I' e been so surprised by their popularity here in recent years! I'd still rather have a vino tinto, though... ;)

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  7. YUM to all of the above! Spanish drinks, like most Spanish things, are seriously underrated. So glad you gave them some much-deserved lovin! That being said, I now need to direct myself to the nearest bar...

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  8. Mmmm I've never actually tried sangria de cava, but that sounds amazing!!

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  9. Sadly I'm allergic to gin, otherwise I would have totally added that to this list! They're such a big thing here! I definitely agree with you about the vino tinto though :)

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  10. Agreed! Take me with you :)
    (PS I should have added margaritas from María Bonita to this list. Yummm.)

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  11. ...I don't know if there is any special drink--BUT, Aragón as a whole is quite well-known for their wines!!...I think the town with the most bodegas is Barbastro, in Huesca Province!!...

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  12. Ooh! I'll have to try some Aragón wines soon then!!

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  13. ...HECK YES--La Rioja ain't the only place where it's at, ;-)!!...

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  14. Oh my - I wish I remembered the name! When I was in Asturias I tasted this small liqueur tasted a bit like Baileys but even better. It was amazing! And also cider of course, although a bit hard to digest haha

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  15. Yeah, I'm a much bigger fan of English and Irish cider than I am Spanish cider. It's just not sweet enough for me! Although I loved tasting it when I was in Asturias!

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  16. Red wine, Mojitos, ay yi yi...you're making me long for Spain!! Their wine is bold and pairs so well with tapas. And now I'm hungry! Thanks for taking me on a trip down Spanish memory lane. :)


    And thanks for linking up to the FFF blog hop! Enjoy your weekend!

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  17. I love all of these...makes me want to hop on a plane back to Spain right now! I really love tinto de verano.

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  18. My husband is Spanish and my FIL loves his Cuba Libre's - I'm going to have to show him some of these!!


    www. blovedboston.com

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  19. I'd love to visit Spain and try each of these! They all sound delicious - I especially love Sangria so I think the Tinto de Verano would be a favourite. Mojitos are my favourite all-time cocktail so I'd definitely order one of those too :)

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  20. If you like sangria, you'll definitely love tinto de verano! It's refreshing and has just the right amount of sweetness!

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  21. Cuba Libre's are really popular here too! Although I'd much rather go with a tinto de verano any day :)

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  22. Tinto de verano will always be my favorite. I'd love to try making it back home when I eventually move back to the States, but I can't seem to find lemon Fanta there!!

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  23. Agreed - nothing beats a glass of Spanish red paired with some tapas! And thank you - I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well! :)

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  24. Oh man, I wish I was enjoying one of these right now! I only learnt about tinto de verano last time I was in Barcelona when the barman kindly told me he thought sangria was more for tourists - I liked tinto better anyway :)

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  25. Agreed - tinto de verano is so much better! Although once in a while sangria does hit the spot :)

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  26. I love this post! Such a good idea :) I like wine - some of the ones I drink are from Spain but most of them are from my home country, France. Love Mojitos of course. How could I not? Oh and sangria. My boyfriend does a great one and it's just perfect for the summer :) Weirdly enough, I don't think I've ever drank much coffee when I've been to Spain before. Perhaps it was always too hot. Anyway, I need to brush up my Spanish red wine skills! xx

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  27. I'm also a big fan of rioja! Mmm...! This was really interesting because I never would have associated vermouth with Spain for some reason. The more you know...! x

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  28. I never did either until I moved to Madrid! Who knew!

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  29. Thanks Valerie! You can never go wrong with French wine either :)

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  30. I'm so thirsty just looking at that tinto de verano. I wish I had one as a night cap nowwwww

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  31. yes. if you were trying to make me thirsty, it worked like a charm. is it happy hour yet?? cheers, friend!

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  32. Becoming SevillanaOctober 14, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    I'm with you on the vermouth! I tried some while in Madrid last month, yum!

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  33. I was surprised by how much I liked it the first time I tried it! Now I'm hooked!

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  34. Haha I'm glad :) It's five o'clock somewhere!!

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  35. Agreed! Maybe this weekend it'll be sunny enough to enjoy some tinto outside :)

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  36. This is a great list, and I'm gonna have to second (and third) the tinto de verano, red wine, and vermouth—which I've only recently started trying. I'm more partial to a café con leche myself, but if I'm in a cafe that happens to serve non-torrefacto coffee I will totally go down for a straight-up shot of espresso. Gin & tonics are a refreshing favorite of mine (although I initially couldn't stand the strong bitterness), and I'm also a fan of Estrella Galicia's "1906 Red Vintage" brew, a few steps above their standard blasé caña.

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  37. Do they have many places to get non-torrefacto cafés up in Galicia? I couldn't live without Toma and La Bicicleta here in Madrid, but when I'm out and about (especially before work) I usually have to suck it up in the name of caffeine addiction. If I weren't allergic to both gin and beer, I probably would have added those to my list too!!

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  38. They're far and few between (as in the rest of Spain), but in A Coruña the coffee roasting company Cafés Siboney has a couple café locations in the city, plus I've even found an independent café that serve's Siboney's torrefacto-free coffee in middle-of-nowhere Boiro where I work! Santiago de Compostela has Café Venecia, which has won awards for the quality of its in-house coffee (although I’m equally a fan of their generous free tapas!)


    I discovered Toma café on a whim a year or two ago, frantically searching for “mejor cafe madrid” on my cellphone while wandering around Malasaña :P

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  39. All of these drinks are so delicious! I'm particularly partial to tinto de verano.


    I'd probably add kalimotxo and make myself a list of 6. :)

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