Popular Drinks in Spain: What to Order Next Time You’re at The Bar

To show a cocktail made in Spain

Spain is home to some of the tastiest and most fascinating drinks out there. From red wine and Coke cocktails to brandy and anise digestifs, we’re breaking down some of the most popular drinks in Spain. With our help, you’ll have no trouble ordering next time you’re at a Spanish bar or tapas restaurant at home or abroad.

 

Agua de Valencia

If you’ve never heard of Agua de Valencia, that’s because the delightfully refreshing Spanish drink is severely underrated. A counterpart to the more famous Spanish beverage Sangria, Agua de Valencia is made by mixing Cava (the Spanish answer to Champagne) with vodka and gin. 

For extra flavor, sugar and fresh Valencia orange juice are added to the mix. Valencia oranges are incredibly sweet and fresh, making them the perfect addition to this booze-filled cocktail.

The cocktail was created in, you guessed it, Valencia in the 1950s. Today, the drink is still a popular choice in the city. Agua de Valencia directly translates to “water of Valencia.” However, the drink’s high alcohol content means it couldn’t be further from water.

Agua de Valencia is commonly served by the pitcher and can be found in almost any café or tapas bar in Valencia. If you’re passing through the city, you won’t want to leave without trying its namesake drink.  

 

Kalimotxo

The Kalimotxo (pronounced “Calimocho”) is a simple cocktail comprised of only two ingredients: red wine and Coke. The ingredients are typically served over ice at a one-to-one ratio. Thanks to its simplicity, the drink is a favorite amongst bartenders looking to whip up quick but tasty beverages.

This Spanish drink dates back to the 1920s and is commonly found in the country’s Basque region. However, it didn’t gain popularity or earn its name until the 1970s, when it was doled out at a festival in Getxo, Spain. The drink was then named after one of the festival organizers named Kalimero (Kali), who was known to be quite ugly (motxo).

The Coke in the drink was initially used to mask any flaws in the wine resulting from poor storage or oxidation. The drink has recently seen a surge in popularity worldwide, from China to the United States.

Mixing red wine with Coke might sound counterintuitive, but the drink goes down surprisingly easily. If you find yourself at a Spanish bar not knowing what to order, opt for the perfectly sippable Kalimotxo.

 

Sol Y Sombra 

Translating to “sun and shade,” the Sol y Sombra is the perfect after-dinner drink. The beverage gets its name from the dark and clear liquors used to make it, and is mostly found in Spain’s capital city, Madrid.

Sol y Sombra is also said to get its name from the pricing of seats at bullfighting events, ranging from cheap to expensive. If attending a bullfight, you can opt to sit in the cheap seats in the sun (Sol), the more expensive seats in the shade (Sombra), or a split between the two (Sol y Sombra).

This popular digestif is made from equal parts brandy and anisette, an anise-flavored liqueur. The ingredients are shaken with ice and then typically served in a snifter, a small, footed glass with a tapered top. Alternatively, the drink can be served at room temperature in a snifter.

Given that the drink is pure alcohol, it packs quite the punch. This one is best enjoyed slow and steady.

 

Tinto de Verano

Cousin to the Kalimotxo, Tinto de Verano consists of red wine mixed with a lighter soda, typically lemon or orange Fanta. The drink is often likened to Sangria and is popular during the warmer months—the name literally translates to “summer red wine.”

Although Sangria is more widely known, it’s more common to find Tinto de Verano in bars and restaurants across Spain. Like Sangria, Tinto de Verano is often served by the pitcher, so it’s perfect for sharing with friends.

Tinto de Verano is light and refreshing, tasting somewhat like a fancier fruit punch. To spruce it up, add vermouth and fresh fruit for a more robust drink.

Tinto de Verano is the perfect addition to a meal on a sunny terrace or a backyard picnic with friends. But be careful, you may find yourself in need of a siesta if you have more than a few.

 

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