9 Classic Spanish Cocktails and How to Make Them

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When people think of Spain they think of warm weather, a passionate language and rich culture. But those who know Spain, will also know that the Spanish love their cocktails. Nothing beats sipping on one of the many Spanish alcoholic drinks that can be found at any rooftop terrace or at any local bar or restaurant near you. In this article we will cover some of the most popular cocktails in Spain and how you can make the most authentic versions for yourself at home!

If you’re looking for drinks without alcohol, check out our article about traditional non-Alcoholic Spanish drinks. If you’d like to get down to the basics and learn about some of Spain’s most favoured liquors and ciders, take a look at our article about authentic Spanish Made Alcohol!

1. Sangría

Everyone around the world has heard of Sangria. This wine based drink is a true staple in Spanish culture and you must try it at least once in your life! It’s best to order this red wine mixture in a large jug so that all of the fruits and flavors can sit and mix with each other while you eat and chat with your friends. Many cultures have tried to reinvent Sangria – but those recipes are just not the same as the real thing. So if you want to taste the real version of this Spanish cocktail you must pay attention to all of the details.

Mix it yourself

  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 2 oranges thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick

If you want to add a little kick to the mixture, add a small amount of lemon flavored gas water. If you want to try another twist, try making a white wine sangria. It’s just as crisp and refreshing on those hot summer days. Remember: it is important to let the sangria sit undisturbed for at least 2 hours before enjoying!

2. Cava

Ok, so this isn’t exactly a cocktail, but it is a truly popular Spanish drink. Cava is a sparkling white wine, more or less the Spanish equivalent of Champagne that can be find it as a white or rose. It’s really one of the most iconic alcoholic drinks in Spain! The drink is served cold and is commonly mixed with a variety of fruits. In fact, some recipes suggest that you add cava to your sangria recipe to give it an extra kick!

Mix it yourself

  • 1 bottle of cava
  • Assorted berries

Pour as much cava as you’d like into a champagne flute. Add a few berries if you’re feeling it.

3. Agua de Valencia

This drink offers a twist on the traditional mimosa recipe. It was created in the coastal city of Valencia which is known for its amazing beaches and summer culture and it doesn’t disappoint. This refreshing cocktail reflects the city’s beautiful sun-filled coastline as well as the famous oranges that grow in the same region. It is perfect for your next brunch or midday party.

Mix it yourself

  • 250ml (8 oz) orange juice
  • 2 shots of gin
  • 2 shots of vodka
  • 1 bottle of cava
  • A few lemon slices
  • A few tablespoons of sugar

Mix everything into a large pitcher. Mix in sugar and lemon slices until you reach your desired sweetness!

4. Tinto de Verano

Tinto de Verano is the most popular Spanish cocktail that you’ve never heard of. Sangria might be the first drink that foreigners think of, but once they arrive they will quickly learn that Tinto de Verano is the local favourite. This is because it’s simply easier to make and not quite as strong to drink as its famous counterpart. It’s called the Summer Wine because it’s a perfect mix of red wine and lemon soda and is offered literally everywhere.

Mix it Yourself

  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 1/2 cup of lemon soda or tonic water (casera).

If you’re looking a sweet, lemony twist you will want to mix your wine with lemon soda. However, if you’re just looking to water down your wine and add some bubbles you will want the tonic water known as Casera.

5. Clara (de Limón)

Another classic Spanish drink that doesn’t necessarily count as a cocktail is the Clara de Limón. This unique mix is the most refreshing alternative to a simple pint of beer because it’s simply a mix of beer with a bit of lemon soda. It’s also a lighter option if you’re incredibly thirsty and want to drink beer but not feel too heavy or bloated afterwards. It’s also incredibly easy to make at home.

Mix it yourself

  • 1 can/glass/bottle of beer
  • A splash of lemon-lime soda

Mix as much of each ingredient as you wish together and maybe add an ice cube or two. It’s as simple as that!

6. Kalimotxo

Another simple mixed drink that is very unique to Spain, is the Kalimotxo. Originally made popular in the Basque country, Kalimotxo is a mix of red wine and Coca-Cola with some ice to top it off. The drink has a distinct sweet and tart flavor and is common among young Spaniards for the popular botellón – a large get-together outside meant for dancing and drinking.

Mix it yourself

  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 1/2 a can of coke

Add a half a can of coke or so to a glass of (cheap) dry red wine.

7. Queimada

quiemada

Queimada is one of those Spanish drinks with a spooky and magical background. Traditionally from Galicia, this cocktail is a mix of orujo, sugar, lemon peel, and spices that is then lit on fire. While the drink cooks, more brandy is poured into the punch to make it even stronger. To top it off, a spell is recited so that the special powers of the drink are transferred to the person drinking it! The spell references witches, demons, and devils, which makes Queimada the perfect drink for any spooky occasion!

Mix it yourself

  • 1 liter orujo
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Rind of one lemon cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup whole coffee beans

Find a fireproof bowl (clay usually works well). Set aside about 4 tablespoons of orujo (or a grape spirit substitute) and 1 tablespoon of sugar, mixed. Mix the remaining orujo with the remaining of sugar. Add the lemon and coffee beans. One everything in the pot is stirred up, take your smaller orujo/sugar mixture in a ladle and light it on fire. Move the flaming ladle close to the pot so it also catches on fire. Stir until the flames are blue; cover to extinguish.

Warning: please be careful mixing this!

8. Vermouth

vermouth

One of the most classic Spanish liquors to sip on an evening out, at a dinner with friends, or after a long day at work! Vermouth, or vermút, is a fortified wine liquor that is sweet, red, and spicy. It’s a local favorite that can be found at almost all Spanish establishments and it usually comes straight from the tap. If you’re looking to try something that’s reminiscent of a cold mulled wine, this is your drink.

Mix it yourself

  • 1 bottle of vermouth (not martini vermouth)
  • A lemon or orange slice

Serve your vermouth over ice. Throw a little lemon or orange slice in there and eat some olives to balance out the flavors.

9. Rebujito

If you find yourself in the south of Spain, in the region known as Andalucía during the spring and summer, you will most likely see everyone drinking a light carbonated drink called Rebujito. Rebujito is a typical Spanish cocktail made of white sherry and lemon-lime soda. The lemon-lime flavor combined with the dry sherry creates a crisp and refreshing drink in the heat of the Andalusian sun.

Mix it yourself

  • 60ml (2 oz) of sherry
  • 120ml (4 oz) of lemon-lime soda
  • A sprig of mint for added freshness!

Mix everything together in a glass with ice. For a more bitter version, swap the soda out for some lemon-lime tonic water.

Leah has been living in and exploring Madrid since 2013 when she moved to the city for a simple summer abroad. After falling in love with Madrid, she started the Citylife Blog in 2014 with the goal to share everything there is to know about her favourite place on earth! In her spare time you will find Leah at some of Madrid's many museums and cultural exhibitions.

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