Life’s Lemons and Wine

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Spain is one of the world’s largest producers of wine, and best of all it’s the kind of wine that won’t break the bank. A great Rioja or Ribera del Duero here may run you 10 and in the States around $15. What could be an excellent gift or treat for yourself is actually a staple of the Spanish diet and there are plenty of typical dishes that include it to make any wino trade their bottle opener for an apron. On either side of wine producing there are even more traditional beverages: Orujo, a traditional liquor that’s made with wine by-products and Mosto, a fresh and non-alcoholic grape juice served with a skewered olive. For times when enjoying a hard drink just sounds like too much, a wine cooler can be just the thing you were missing. Add these simple combos to your mixology library and quickly become the coolest person at any party.

We’ll start with the world famous and narrow in to the lesser-known bebidas.

 

Sangria

One of Spain’s most popular exports, this is a wine and sugary lemon fizz drink. You know it’s good when it has a hint of cinnamon and lots of yummy drunk fruit. It’s simplified by many here for large parties and family gatherings to simply wine + lemon soda. This drink is, unfortunately not common outside of touristy areas and warmer months.

Tinto de Verano

The tinto is the wine and the verano is typically “Gaseosa”, a sweetened fizzy water. A Tinto de Verano can also be made with lemon soda (just like the “cheap” sangria above) just order to your liking. Lighter than Sangria this can be had at essentially any bar or restaurant, its ubiquitous and hard to get wrong!

Kalimotxo

Popular in North of Spain among all ages, this drink is a combination of wine and Coca Cola. It’s a funny combination that tastes almost savory; ordering this concoction in a classier place and you might get a little scoff – the Kalimotxo tends to be the drink that many adolescents go for at their first parties.

Rebujito

The lightest, sweetest and most “Southern” of the wine mixers is this combination of white wine (typically Reuda or Verdejo) and Sprite. It’s incredibly sweet and pairs great with salty crunchy tapas on a hot day.

In a glass

Of course, one of the best ways to enjoy Spanish wines is to just pop open a bottle and pour yourself a glass with no fussiness added. A wonderful, full bodied red or a light spritzy white tops off any meal or stands alone just fine.

Wine production here is taken very seriously but not so much so that it can’t also be enjoyed! Try these out at home and let me know what you think 🙂