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Spanish refreshing drink recipes for summer

Whether you feel like chilling out under the umbrella or at night on a patio, the fact is that during summer and spring days we do like to refresh ourselves while breathing fresh air and listening to cool music, isn’t it? Inspired by the Barcelona Mediterranean lifestyle, we came up with a list of our favorite summer drink recipes from Spain. Easy to prepare, easy to drink, they will certainly ease that moment of the day when everything goes into slow motion.

Sangria de Cava (sparkling wine sangria)

The best refreshing summer cocktail by the pitcher that is served in Barcelona summer days. Fruity, chilled and extrovert, these bubbles drink it is your choice as an upscale version of the classical Spanish Sangria.

Prep time: 10 min / Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of chilled sparkling water
  • ½ cup of well-chilled Peach Brandy or Cointreau
  • 1 bottle of chilled Cava (or non-sweet sparkling wine)
  • 2-3 cups of assorted blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and pineapple slices

How to prepare Sangria de Cava drinks:

Stir the liquor, the sparkling water, and the cava in a pitcher. Float about 2/3 of the fruits in the sangria and use the rest to decorate individual glasses. The secret to success is having all ingredients very well chilled at the moment of mixing. You can also add some mint for decoration.

Cava and Strawberry Popsicles

Thinking on a twisted Valentine´s day sort of celebration while wearing your Audrey Hepburn’s hat under the sun in the company of a tall tan perfect body partner wearing a white shirt? or going for an after-dinner walk by the beach? This is the perfect refreshing summertime recipe that will spark and chill your mouth (note that for kids there is a non-alcoholic version).

Prep time: 30 minutes / Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of water
  • 2-3 cups of strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of organic agave syrup
  • 2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup of Cava (or sparkling water for the non-alcoholic version)

How to prepare the strawberry popsicles:

  • Wash the strawberries, cut them into small pieces and put them in a bowl. Add the syrup and leave it to rest for around 20 minutes.
  • Pour the strawberries, lemon juice, and water into a food processor and slightly mix (you want some chunks). Add cava or sparkling water and stir until well incorporated
  • Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds and freeze overnight

¨Cava and Bonanto¨ Spritz

By far this is the simpler most sophisticated summer cocktail which is also an easy drink to prepare. Aperol Spritz is originally from northern Italy, but in Barcelona, a twist has been created. Instead of using Italian Prosecco and Aperol, a local Cava and the Bonanto overtakes the stage. Why? Because it tastes local!

Prep time: 2 minutes / Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 of sparkling water
  • 1/3 Bonanto
  • 1/3 cup of Cava
  • 2 Orange slices

How to prepare this Spanish summer cocktail recipe:

Find a big bowl-type glass, add 2-3 big ice cubes, and then the orange slices, cava, Aperol (or Campari) and sparkling water. Stir and cheers with your pairs!

Cava is a sparkling wine produced in Catalonia. For the above recipes, we used Bonanto and the Cava Rupestre from the Berdie House.

Lemonade beer (aka Clara in Catalonia and Galicia, Cerveza con limon in Madrid and Andalusia, Champu in Valencia or Pika in Bilbao)

This is probably the most asked summer drink at tapas bars in Spain, though the traveler should be aware that this refreshing ¨lemonade beer¨ has different names within the country: Champu in Valencia, Shandy in Mallorca, Pica in Santander and Bilbao, and Lejia in Guipuzcoa and Navarra. In Barcelona, we call it Clara!

It is the best pair for any Spanish tapa, especially the heavy ones such as patatas bravas, bombas or chistorra. This is the easiest Spanish drink to prepare, though you might need to know a few tricks in order to reach perfection.

Prep time: 1 minute / Serves: as much as you want

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup lager beer (ideally draft beer)
  • ½ cup of well-chilled sparkling lemonade

How to prepare a lemonade beer: 
Pour the lemonade into the glass and then carefully add the beer. The only secret of this summertime drink recipe is to have the two ingredients extremely cold, close to freezing! That’s it!

Hibiscus Lemonade

A couple of years ago, visiting Senegal, I got acquainted with a local hibiscus-based drink which had a sweetened tart, cranberry-like flavor. The so-called Bissap, the national year-long summer drink which I fell in love with and that many cafes and bars serve in Barcelona and Spain! It is the perfect refreshing summertime recipe drink for kids.

(Photo credit: http://girlinthelittleredkitchen.com/)

Prep time: 15 min / Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • A hand of organic hibiscus tea
  • 3-4 coconut sugar tablespoons
  • 1 liter of water
  • 1 liter of sparkling water
  • Lime slices and blueberries

How to Hibiscus Lemonade:

  • Boil the water with sugar until it is dissolved. Then add the hibiscus. Let it cool to room temperature. Pour it into a bottle and put it in the fridge till is chilled.
  • In a glass add ice, fill half of it with the chilled hibiscus tea and another half with sparkling water. Add lime slices and blueberries or any red fruit you have at hand. Enjoy!

Vermouth with siphon water

Revert back to ancient traditions celebrated in Barcelona by immersing yourself in the world of local vermouths that are crafted in Reus, the capital of this drink. Vermouth is a kind of fortified wine that we enjoy all over the year in Barcelona and that goes down easily during the warm summer months with an ancient twist.

(photo: Vermouth tasting at a Barcelona Food Tour)

How to prepare a refreshing vermouth drink: find a big glass, add a couple of big ice cubes, orange slices and one olive, and fill it with vermouth, leaving 1/3 free for the siphon water that will make it slightly sparkling and easier to drink over the high summer temperatures. Lazy to prepare it when you are visiting Barcelona? Just go to Jonny Aldana tapas bar and Charlie will put you up to speed.

Tinto de Verano

The famous “Tinto de Verano” stands for “Red wine of summer”, though it is a refreshing cocktail that you can drink in any season. It is very easy to make, you just need two ingredients: red wine and lemon-lime soda or seltzer water (for less sweet). The preparation is the combination of the two in equal parts.

Classic Sangria

The quintessential Spanish pitcher drink is a famous cocktail worldwide. It is really easy to make and versatile. It is rare to go to a party or barbeque where there is no sangria. People like to customize it to their like and each person has his or her own version of sangria. Here is the traditional sangria recipe:

  • 1 liter of red wine
  • 1/2 liter of fresh orange juice
  • a splash of sweet wine (moscatel)
  • 1 lemon’s juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 or 2 sugar spoons
  • seasonal fruits in pieces
  • ice cubes

Mix all the ingredients in a jar and leave it on the fridge to chill them. Serve with ice.

Agua de Valencia

This festive cocktail is made with cava, orange juice, vodka, and gin is the flagship of Valencian’ cocktails. It has a magical combination of spirits that makes it great for a night out. Some people consider it the refreshing twist of the classic mimosa and reflect the Mediterranean spirit of the sunny coast in Valencia where oranges are present even in dreams.

How to prepare Agua de Valencia:

  • 2 glasses of fresh orange juice
  • 2 glasses of cava
  • 1 glass of vodka
  • 1 glass of gin

Pour all the ingredients in a jar an add a bunch of ice. Serve very cold.

Wonderful people, what can I say after the above lines? salud! cheers! Enjoy summer refreshing drinks in Spain, and do share your recipes, we love hearing about your local homemade drinks. All the best!