A country on the Iberian Peninsula, Spain is a multicultural country. The combination of various traditions meets at that place. So no doubt the drinks in Spain are very diverse.
So here are 21 popular Spanish Drinks you should try!
21. Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate is a drink that has become a tradition and culture of Spain.
It all started when the Spanish conquered Mexico more than 500 years ago, where explorers discovered cocoa. Since then, the Spaniards love Hot Chocolate.
Some old cities in Spain serve these drinks, especially those that used to be cattle ranching centers. For example, in Catalan, Hot Chocolate called Xocolata Suissa is a favorite drink and is usually served with fresh cream.
To make Spanish Hot Chocolate, the ingredients used are three cups of milk, 5 ounces of small pieces of cocoa, cornstarch, sugar, and ground cinnamon. After the ingredients are ready, then heated, the taste is vibrant, dense, and soft.
Besides being made at home, Hot Chocolate can also be obtained by visiting several places that sell it in Spain. For example, Granja Viader is located in Las Ramblas or the Chocolateria La Nena shop located in the Gracia area.
To the Spaniards, chocolate was like a tea drink to the British. So don’t be surprised if chocolate is almost always on the menu. Whether as a breakfast or dinner menu, often Hot Chocolate will be drunk with crispy fried churros.
20. Herbs de Majorca
Herbs de Majorca or herbs de Mallorca is a herbal liquor that comes from Mallorca, Spain. The drink is made with anise and other aromatic plants, such as chamomile, lemon, marjoram, mint, citrus, and rosemary. It is green or yellow.
Usually, Herbs de Majorca is sold using bottles and consumed as a digestive or digestion facilitator after meals. Herbs de Majorca is also traditionally made a dry version, a sweet version, or a mixed version to suit customers’ tastes.
Herbs de Majorca has a sweet taste containing about 20% alcohol with high sugar content. Meanwhile, dried Herbs de Majorca has an alcohol content of at least 35% and a low sugar content. For the mixed version, the alcohol content is about 25%.
Herbs de Majorca is a protected type of drink and can only be made in Majorca, Balearic Islands. Distillation was introduced by the Arabs while conquering the Iberian peninsula to make medicine, which became the forerunner of Herbs de Majorca.
Usually, serving Herbs de Majorca can be cold on ice or using a special glass called Chupito. The taste tends to be herbal and aromatic. Generally, the Herbs de Majorca brand on the market is Tunel, which was first produced in 1898.
Rebujito is the name of a cocktail found in Andalusia, made from a mixture of Sherry, Manzanilla, or Fino and a soft drink, usually white lemonade or lime soda. Rebujito is a term that can be interpreted as ‘covering up’ or ‘messing up.’
To make Rebujito, you need Sherry’s basic ingredients such as Fino and Manzanilla, then mixed with white lemonade, such as Sprite or 7Up or Spanish lemon soda, La Casera. After it’s finished mixing, it’s usually topped with mint.
Rebujito’s attraction lies in its refreshing taste. Although they contain the same amount of alcohol as other cocktails, they taste a lot fresher, especially when it’s hot. Mint leaves, and lime can also add freshness.
It is a common belief that Rebujito originally came from Sherry Cobbler, who was favored by British travelers in southern Spain. The drink was popular until the late 1980s as a party drink, before changing to Rebujito.
Rebujito was finally created after good quality Fino Sherry was used like Tio Pepe or Manzanilla like Solear. Rebujito uses Fino or Manzanilla more often because if you use Oloroso or Amontillado, the taste becomes too thick.
Aguardente, which means burning water, is the Spanish term for a drink with an alcohol content of between 29% and 60%.
The term Aguardente comes from the Iberian peninsula, Portugal, Spain, and the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking American countries.
Aguardente is a strong alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation and distillation of sugary or sweet musts, maceration of vegetables, or a mixture of the two. Therefore, Aguardente can be made from fruits, seeds, tubers, and the original ingredient is sugar cane.
In the Spanish version, Aguardente is categorized based on its raw material. For example, the wine spirit is Aguardente de Vino, and the grain spirit is Aguardente de Cereales. It could also come from the origin, such as Aguardente de Sidra de Asturias, the apple spirit from Asturias.
One of the regions in Spain, which is famous for its Aguardient quality, is Galicia. The product is Aguardente de Bagazo, made from a clear distillation of pomace grapes. Usually contains more than 50% alcohol, sometimes even a lot more.
Aguardente de Bagazo can also be used as an ingredient in various drinks, such as Aguardente de Herba, which is yellow and tastes sweet. Then there is the Licor Café, black, and the Crema de Aguardente, which is made with a mixture of cream and milk.
Cerveza is Spanish for beer. The term originates from medieval French Cervoise, which comes from the Gallo-Roman root Cerevisa. The word is used in honor of Ceres, the Roman goddess of the harvest.
Interestingly, when the Spanish adopted the term Cerveza around 1482, France abandoned the term Cervoise and replaced it with Biere. Spain is one of Europe’s largest beer-producing countries, from the classics to the new wave styles.
Some of the famous Cerveza brands in Spain, such as the Mahou Cinco Estrella brand produced in Madrid, were introduced in 1936 with a mild taste. Then there is Cerveza, La Virgin, a craft beer made in Las Rozas with a fruity taste.
Next, there is the Estrella Damm, which is produced in Barcelona or the Catalan, first created in 1876, which makes it the oldest beer in Spain. The taste is rich and malty. Catalan also owns the brand Cerveza which is written in the local language, Moritz.
Apart from the Madrid and Barcelona regions, Cerveza in Spain is also produced in other regions. For example, the Ambar brand from Zaragoza, Cruz Campo in Seville, and famous in Andalusia, then the Alhambra, produced in Granada, in southern Spain.
16. Café con Leche
Café con Leche is a Spanish coffee drink made from a mixture of espresso or other sharp coffee with hot milk. Café con Leche means coffee with milk in Spanish. It looks similar to Caffé latte in Italy or Café au lait in France.
The ratio between coffee and milk in the making Café con Leche is 1: 1, but sometimes more milk is used. Also, sugar or a little salt is often added. The milk used can also be anything, whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, or soy.
Meanwhile, the recommended coffee beans are Brazilian coffee, but it can also be from Peruvian, Ethiopian, and Colombian coffee beans. Initially, Café con Leche was only famous in Spain, but now it has become popular worldwide, especially in the Spanish speaking community.
Little is known about the history of Café con Leche because, basically, Espresso based drinks have the same origin. What makes it different is the recipe, which is the amount of Espresso and milk so that the taste can be stronger, smoother, milky, or even.
Café con Leche is usually served with toast or biscuits for breakfast. Café con Leche is often served hot in small or tall glasses. The taste is sweet and mild, although many prefer it unsweetened.
Sidra or Spanish Cidra is a drink originating from the Asturias and Basque Country regions of northern Spain.
Sidra is made from real crabapple, with a sweeter variety to balance the final taste. In the 12th century, Sidra was even more popular than wine.
Apple production in Spain was originally just a simple and personal form until, in 1629, the apple tree from America was introduced to Spain. Since then, production has increased but was stopped after the Spanish Civil War because it was banned.
Sidra was produced again in the 80s after being banned and abandoned. The production of apple cider, which is the raw material for Sidra, is mostly carried out in the north, such as in Asturias, Galicia, and the Basque, because the area’s climate is ideal for growing apples.
There are two ways of making Sidra, naturally, and Gasificada. Sidra is naturally made on a small scale and is fermented without any additives. Apple cider is mixed with other sweeter ingredients for a strong, tangy, and balanced taste.
Meanwhile, Sidra, which is produced with Gasificada, is usually quite sweet because there is added sugar during the production process. The fermentation process uses a large stainless steel tank. Most people prefer naturally made Sidra.
Carajillo is a hot coffee drink made with a mixture of liqueurs. This Spanish drink is also famous in Latin America and Central America, especially because it originated from Cuba’s area when it was a province of Spain.
The name Carajillo comes from the Cuban people’s etymology, where at that time, the army used to combine coffee with rum to add courage (Coraje), which later became Corajillo or Carajillo. But in Catalan, Spain, Carajillo is usually called a Cigalo.
There are many ways to make Carajillo, generally by pouring Espresso with alcohol; some are made from lemon, sugar, cinnamon, and alcohol. Carajillos are made differently according to the region in Spain.
Carajillo in Catalonia, for example, is made from plain coffee, sugar, and brandy that are not burned. In contrast, in the province of Castellon, the trick is a little more complicated, by heating some of the alcohol in a glass, along with sugar, cinnamon, coffee beans, and pieces of lemon zest.
Generally, Castellon’s version of Carajillo is the one that is popularly drunk in Spain. Carajillo has a unique taste. Lemon zest gives it a tangy, fruity taste and complements bitter coffee. This is following the etymology of the Cuban people, encouraging.
13. Gin and Tonic
Gin and Tonic is a whiskey cocktail made from gin, and tonic water poured over ice. The gin to tonic ratio can be made according to the taste, the strength of the gin, other additives, etc. Generally, the ratio used is a 1: 1 ratio or 1: 3 ratio.
British East India Company soldiers originally introduced the cocktail in India. At that time, malaria hit India and other tropical areas. Therefore, in the 1700s, Scottish doctor George Cleghorn made tonic as a medicine.
In the early 19th century, British officers in India began adding a mixture of water, sugar, lime, and gin to the tonic, which tasted bitter and unpleasant. Since then, the Gin and Tonic blend has become known for its sweetness and has grown in popularity.
Even though Gin and Tonic is a well-known drink originally came from England, it has a distinctive presence in Spain. Spanish Gin and Tonic served in a balloon glass (Copa de Balon) with lots of ice and a flavor-enhancing garnish.
The balloon glass used in Spanish Gin and Tonic allows the drink’s aroma to come together and be felt immediately. Gin and Tonic’s popularity in Spain also led to the establishment of the bar, where customers can choose from a menu of gin, tonic, and garnishes according to taste.
12. Priorat Wine
Priorat is the Denominación de Origen Qualificada (DOQ) or the Catalan wine production regulatory region located in Priorat country, Tarragona province, southwest Catalonia. The DOQ includes 11 red wine-producing municipalities with strong character.
It is one of only two wine regions in Spain to qualify as a DOCa, apart from Rioja. Priorat also has a unique soil, namely Llicorella, so that the resulting wine has a unique character of sour taste and a bit rough.
The cultivation and production of grapes in the Catalan region dates back to the 12th century when monks from the Carthusian Scala Dei Monastery founded in 1194 introduced viticulture to the area until around 1835.
After that, the production was taken over by the state and distributed to farmers. Unfortunately, at the end of the 19th-century, phylloxera pests destroyed vineyards. It was only in the 1950s that replanting took place, and the DO Priorat was formally formed in 1954.
Priorat produces traditional red wines in the Bordeaux style made from French grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Syrah. Priorat can be grapes from Garnacha with red berries or grapes of a darker color.
11. Tinto de Verano
Tinto de Verano literally means summer red wine. This cool, refreshing drink is popular in Spain and, at a glance, similar to Sangria.
It’s just that Tinto de Verano is simpler because it is made from red wine and one part gaseosa.
Gaseosa is a general term for soft drinks and carbonated drinks. To make Tinto de Verano, the portion of gaseosa used can vary according to taste. Often use the low sugar, lightly carbonated lemonade, La Casera.
Rum is sometimes also commonly added to beverage ingredients. Other variations include red wine mixed with lemon soda, orange soda, or bitter lemon. Lemon and soda are often mixed with rosé wine, while red wine is mixed with cola.
Tinto de Verano dates back to the early 20th century when Federico Vargas created a mix of red wine and soda pop for his customers in Venta Vargas, Cordoba, Spain. Previously, the Tinto de Verano drink was better known as Un Vargas.
Tinto de Verano is more commonly consumed in the summer and served cold on ice, whether made at home or bought in a bottle. Traditionally gaseosa can be made from a mixture of Sprite or 7Up with carbonated water.
Kalimotxo or Calimocho is a drink made from red wine and cola-based with the same composition. Kalimotxo originated in the 1970s and has become an icon as one of Spain’s international drinks.
It is said that there was a group of young people named Antzarrak cuadrilla who ordered a drink at one of the drink stands or Txosna during the festival. Unfortunately, the wine was in bad condition, so they mixed it with cola to kill the sour taste.
The inventor of the mixture then gave him the names of his friends, namely Kalimero and Motxo, thus becoming Kalimotxo. Actually, the method of adding cola to wine is one of the common things that Spanish youths do.
Although it was recently created, Kalimotxo has become one of the important cultural symbols of the Basque Country, Spain. Kalimotxo is usually served at bars in short glasses filled with red wine, cola, ice cubes. Kalimotxo has a strong coke flavor.
Other European drinks:
9. Agua de Valencia
Valencian water or in the local language, namely Aigua de Valencia, is a cocktail made of Cava or Champagne, orange juice, vodka, and gin.
Generally served with a teapot of various sizes and drunk from a cocktail glass, first created in 1959.
Constante Gil makes this cocktail at the bar Café Madrid de Valencia in Valencia, Spain. The bar is indeed frequented by travelers from the Basque who usually order the Agua de Bilbao because they are bored, and they finally ask for new cocktails.
Finally, the bar owner suggested they try Agua de Valencia. Since then, many have loved it and are ordering on our next visit. For a decade, Aigua de valencia was known only to a few people until it became popular in the 1970s.
Aigua de Valencia also pioneered other cocktails that come from different regions. For example, Agua de Sevilla, in Seville, then there is Agua de Malva Rossa. There is also another variant made from lemon sorbet, but it is not called Aigua de Valencia.
Aigua de Valencia has an aromatic taste due to the orange juice used. Cava also makes it taste more distinctive, compared to using Champagne. Apart from ordering directly when visiting a bar in Valencia, it is now also sold in branded packages.
Txakoli or Chacoli is a lightly sparkling, dry white wine with high acidity and low alcohol content. Txakoli is widely produced in the Basque Country, Cantabria, and Northern Burgos, Spain, and even in Chile.
This wine comes from the Basque language, named txakoli, while in Spanish it is called Chacoli. Until around the 1980s, Txakoli was almost independently produced and only drunk in the Basque Country, Cantabria, and Valle de Mena.
After almost being declared extinct until the 19th century, Txakoli in the Basque Country finally managed to get a certification from the Denominación de Origen (DO) starting from 1989 until now, even the quality, distribution, and attractiveness of it has increased.
Traditionally Txakoli is fermented in foudres, wooden barrels made from large, old oak trees. But nowadays, most of the Txakoli is fermented in stainless steel barrels. Most of the Txakoli grapes are grown in the Atlantic region, namely the Basque Country.
There are three varieties of Txakoli in the Basque; first, Getariako Txakoli, which first received DO certification, then Bizkaiko Txakolina and Arabako Txakolina. There are also Txakoli from Cantabria and Burgos. Txakoli is made from red or white Hondarrabi grapes.
Horchata or Sencha is the name given to various types of plant-based milk drinks in Spain.
Horchata is usually made from Cyperus esculentus or tiger nut, which are soaked, ground, and sweetened. Horchata has been around since the 13th century in Valencia.
Horchata comes from the Latin term Hordeata from the word Hordeum which means barley or barley. The term refers to the Mediterranean grain-based beverage tradition. The milk drink arrived in Spain through the Muslim conquest in 1000 AD.
To make Horchata, the tiger nut plant’s tubers are harvested, cleaned, then dried for about three months. Then grind it to release milk, then mixed with water, sugar, or lemon juice. The texture is similar to milk with a distinctively fresh taste.
The original form of Horchata is now better known as the horchata de chufas. Even in Spain, a governing board was formed to ensure the quality and distribution of its products. Horchata is usually served cold along with ice for a refreshing summer.
Although popular served cold, Horchata can also be consumed hot and is even used as a spice in other drinks, such as frappé. Besides, Horchata is also often drunk as a substitute for milk for lactose-intolerant people.
Patxaran or Pacharán is a liquor with a sloe or blackthorn flavor (Prunus spinosa), a species of the Rosaceae family of roses.
Patxaran is often drunk in Navarre, Basque Country, and other parts of Spain and is usually drunk cold or on ice.
Patxaran has existed since the Middle Ages and was originally a home liquor from the Navarre countryside. Patxaran became popular during the late 19th century and began to be commercialized in the 1950s, then became increasingly popular outside of Navarre.
To make a Patxaran, bush-picked sole or blackthorn fruit is soaked with a few coffee beans and cinnamon pods in anisette. The soaking takes one to eight months to turn reddish-brown.
The process will also produce Patxaran’s distinctive sweet taste with 25-30% alcohol content. Besides, in making Patxaran, it is not permitted to use dyes or flavorings according to the direction of the regulatory body Pacharán Navarro.
Patxaran is included in aperitif drinks that are usually consumed after meals to aid digestion. Nearly seven million liters per year of Patxaran are produced in the market, several well-known brands such as Zoco, Etxeko, Las Endrinas, Baines, and La Navarra.
Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine produced from the Denominación de Origen (DO) region. Cava can be white or Blanco and red or Rosado. Popular grape varieties used in making Cava are the Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo types.
However, only wines produced by traditional methods can be labeled Cava, so that the wine produced by other methods can only be called sparkling wine or vinos espumosos. Almost about 95% of Cava is made in Penedes, Catalonia.
The Catalan sparkling wine was first created in 1851, while the Cava industry can be traced back to Josep Raventos‘ travels in the 1860s, where he promoted wines from Codorniu Winery during a visit to Champagne, France.
Production of Cava has further developed thanks to significant technological advances in winemaking with the gyro pallet’s invention. The technology is a mechanical device that replaces a hand to create deposits in the bottle’s neck before clogging.
Maybe at first glance, Cava’s appearance resembles a typical Italian Prosecco, but actually, in terms of taste, Cava is more similar to Champagne. The taste tends to be aromatic, depending on the grape variety used, Macabeu, Xarelellectlo, or Paralleda.
4. Rioja Wine
Rioja is a wine-producing region in Spain included in the Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa), the highest wine regulation category in Spain. Rioja grapes are grown in autonomous communities, including La Rioja, Navarre, and in the Basque Country, Alava province.
Rioja wine has a fairly ancient history as it originates from the Finisians and Celtiberians. The earliest written evidence of the existence of Rioja grapes dates back to 873 AD in the form of documents relating to donations to the San Andres de Trepeana Monastery.
Then from the 15th century, the Spanish Empire began to get involved in the naming and development of wines. Until finally, in 1970, a regulation on DOCa was made, then in 1991, La Rioja was designated as the first DOCa in Spain’s country.
There are various grape varieties grown at the Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja. Red grape varieties are like Tempranillo, Garnacha ink, Mazuelo, and Graciano. Meanwhile, white grape varieties are like Viura, Malvasia, and Garnacha blanca.
The distinctive feature of Rioja grapes is the oak’s aging effect as a storage barrel with a predominance of cherry flavor and fruity character. Several product classifications are based on aging, namely Rioja, Crianza, Reservations, and Gran Reserva.
Cortado is a typical Spanish Espresso coffee drink made by adding warm milk. The milk in Cortada is not steamed, so it doesn’t foam like most Italian coffees. The use of milk also softens the taste of coffee and reduces bitterness.
The name Cortado is the past participle of the Spanish word cortar, which means to cut or thin. The term Cortado actually refers to various types of coffee or Espresso that have been added with milk. Cortado is similar to Italian Macchiato and French Noisette.
Cortado is a variety of Spanish coffee variants commonly referred to as Café solo corto or Solo, a typical Spanish Espresso. So specifically, the term Cortado refers to Café cortado or Solo with a little milk with brown and white nuances.
Generally, Cortado is served in a 150-200 ml glass cup, but when served using a Gibraltar glass, Cortado is called Gibraltar. Then the milk used is made by heating it, so it is not milk made of foam.
Although there is no definite history of Cortado’s origin, the coffee drink was likely first made in Spain’s Basque Country. Since then, Cortado has grown in popularity and spread to all Iberian peninsula regions and even in Cuba.
Sherry is a fortified wine made from a white grape that is widely grown near Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain.
Sherries are produced primarily from Palomino grapes and come in various styles, from light versions to more concentrated and heavier versions.
Sherry is made under the official name Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, the wine-growing region of Spain or Denominación de Origen Protegida (DOP). Sherry was previously known as saca (sack) in Spanish, which means extraction from the word solera.
This national Spanish drink has been established in Jerez as the center of the vin culture since wine was introduced to Spain by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC. Since the Moors conquered the Iberian peninsula, a distillation method was developed to make wine.
Even during the Moorish period, the Jerez region was once referred to as Sherish, which comes from Arabic, possibly inspired by Shiraz’s Iranian city, which makes wine in the same way. Then since the 16th century, Sherry is known as the best wine in the world.
There are many types of Sherry based on their taste and appearance, such as the dry and pale Fino type, the mild Manzanilla, the rich and spicy Amontillado, or the darker-looking Oloroso. Sherry is usually drunk with a special glass, Catavino.
Sangria is a cocktail alcoholic drink originating from the Iberian peninsula, including Spain.
Traditionally, Sangria is made from red wine and chopped fruit, including other ingredients or spirits. Sangria is the most popular drink in Spain and beyond.
Sangria means “bloodshed” in Spanish. The term can be traced back to the 18th century. Although its origins cannot be determined with certainty, the early mentions and versions of Sangria were popular in Spain, Greece, and England.
To make Sangria, there are various variants of the recipe used in Spain and differ according to the region of origin. But the basic ingredient is always red wine, and then other ingredients are added to give fruit flavor, sweetness, or alcohol content.
Generally, Sangria uses local fruits such as peaches, nectarines, berries, apples, pears, or non-local fruits such as pineapple and lime. Then Sangria is sweetened with sugar or orange juice. Brandy, sparkling water, or flavored alcohol can also be added.
Several Sangria variants are quite popular, such as Sangria Blanca, which uses white wine, Real Sangria made from Tempranillo and Garnacha grapes, and Ponche de Sangria, which is made for children. The taste of Sangria really depends on the ingredients used.
The Spanish drink’s influence is quite significant in the world, especially in the New World or the American continent.
Because in the era of exploration, many local drinking traditions were brought along during voyages and vice versa. So that they create a variety of unique drinks.