Spain’s seductively colorful culture continues to entice travelers…
….from all over the world, despite its status as one of the greatest countries in the world. With mouthwatering food, sun-kissed wines, Mediterranean beaches, and beautiful architecture oozing out of every street crevice, it’s simple to understand why Spain has become one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.
There are the well-known Spanish beverages such as sangria, wine, and beer, but there are many more that most tourists are unfamiliar with, such as sweet creamy horchata, cold fruity granizados, and sherry-based rebujito cocktails, which are equally popular among the residents.
Here’s The List
Vermouth is one of the hottest fads in Spain right now, with specialized vermouth bars springing up across major cities, cafés making their own homemade versions in giant glass jars, and hotels hosting vermouth parties replete with snacks and live music. Vermouth is a sort of sweet fortified wine that can be red or white, but is most commonly red. In Spain, it’s generally served straight up with an olive or a piece of orange. It is supposed to go nicely with tiny seafood appetizers like boquerones (small pickled anchovies). Vermouth is traditionally consumed ‘a la hora del vermut,’ or about midday, as an aperitif before the major meal of the day.
Horchata (or orxata as it is sometimes spelt in Valencian and Catalan) is a refreshing creamy summer drink that may be obtained at specialized horchatarias or ice cream parlors. It’s essentially tiger nut milk, extracted from the tiger nut (which isn’t a nut at all, but a tiny root vegetable), known as chufa in Spanish. It has a flavor that is comparable to almond milk and is frequently combined with cinnamon.
Granizados, which are similar to fruit frappés and are created from crushed ice combined with fruit juices or syrups, are delicious thirst-quenching beverages to consume during Spain’s extremely hot summers. The most common flavor is granizado de limón (lemon flavored), although anything from strawberry to melon is available.
Tinto de Verano
Forget sangria; the natives prefer tinto de verano. Tinto de verano, which translates as summer wine, is red wine combined with a bubbly lemonade-like drink. It’s finest enjoyed in the summer with a meal of tapas.
Beer is, of course, a popular Spanish beverage, which is ordered not by the pint but by the caa (small glass) or tubo (large glass) (long glass). Beer, like other alcoholic beverages in Spain, is rarely consumed without some sort of snack on the side, whether it’s a complimentary bowl of nuts, olives, popcorn, crisps, or a bigger plate of tapas. Estrella Damm, Moritz, San Miguel, Cruzcampo, Alhambra, and Mahou are some of the most popular Spanish brands.
Ask for a clara, a beer blended with lemon juice, akin to a shandy, for a wonderfully refreshing beverage in the heat of summer. Many establishments around the country will offer claras on tap that have already been pre-mixed.
The rebujito, which is most popular in Andalusia, is a type of cocktail that combines sherry with a soft drink such as Sprite. It is often found in Seville and Jerez de la Frontera near the Sherry Triangle, and is traditionally consumed at the Feria de Abril in Seville and the Feira de Caballo in Jerez (horse fair).
Of course, we couldn’t compile a list of Spain’s most popular drinks without adding one of its most famous wines (vino in Spanish). Spain is the world’s third largest wine producer, behind France and Italy, with vines covering over a million acres. Spanish wine differs significantly across the nation, so taste the local type everywhere you go.
Even in the smallest of cafés, it’s difficult to find a poor Spanish coffee, and there are as many ways to order it as there are on a Starbucks menu. Choose from con leche, cortado (short coffee with a dash of milk), solo (an espresso), con hielo (with ice), carajillo (with a dash of brandy, whiskey, or rum), or just cafe (black).
Cava, Spain’s counterpart to French Champagne, is available in white and rosé versions. The Penedès area of Catalonia produces 95 percent of Spain’s Cava, while some is also produced in Valencia, Extremadura, La Rioja, and the Basque Country.
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