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Spanish and Catalan cuisine

Spain’s Top 10 most popular drinks

Written by Chloe Harwood

With a reputation for being one of the best countries in the world, Spain’s irresistibly vibrant culture continues to beckon visitors from all over the globe. Offering mouth-watering cuisine, sun blossomed wines, Mediterranean beaches, and incredible architecture spilling from every street crevice, it’s easy to see how Spain has become one of the most popular destinations to visit in Europe.

Whether you’re a party lover, art buff, dance fanatic, foodie, or simply seeking to relax, Spain offers the quenching of every thirst. Food is an integral part of the Spanish culture, with an average lunch lasting between 2 and 3 hours. But no meal could be complete without something to drink. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the large selection of drinks available- don’t fret, ShBarcelona has got you covered. Below we have compiled a list of the most popular drink choices in Spain, helping to guide you towards choosing the best beverage any occasion!

Sangria

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With a refreshing blend of fruits and spices, sangria is known to be the signature Spanish beverage. Ingredients can include ginger, cinnamon, pieces of lemon, orange, apple, peach, mango, melon, kiwi, grapes, pineapple, berries, and more. These ingredients are then marinated in a base alcohol such as red or white wine or as is preferred in Barcelona, cava. Some variations include triple sec or brandy and lemon-lime soda, sugar, lemon slices and ice are used to finish. Sangria, which stands for blood-letting is a popular drink choice for groups due to their typical serving style in large jugs with accompanying glasses for all, perfect for parties and gatherings!

Cava

Cava is the champagne of Spain and it comes in the form of a light, bubbly wine available in both white and rosé. Cava is often consumed alongside tapas but it is also an important part of tradition to drink cava during celebrations such as weddings, Christenings, Christmas, birthday parties and more. About 95% of all cava is produced in the Penedès area in Catalonia in the village of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia which is home to many of the oldest and largest cava producers in Spain. The most traditional and popular grapes varieties used to produce cava include the macabeu, parellada and xarel·lo. In order to be labeled as “cava” wines must be produced according to the traditional champenoise method; other wines processed via alternate methods are regarded as “sparkling wines”.

Related article: Spanish drinks to refresh you this summer

Vermouth

Vermouth is another well-loved beverage in Spain, a popular choice due to its distinct aromatic taste and crisp finish. Frequently consumed by Spanish tourists and locals, vermouth is a firm favorite when it comes to choosing a drink to compliment simple tapas. The Spanish style of vermouth is known to be more aromatic than the Italian (red-sweet) and French (white-dry) versions, often including more than 100 different herbs resulting in a distinctive botanical flavor. The ideal vermouth is typically crisp to taste and it contains a balance of acidic, bitter and sweet notes.

Horchata

Spanish horchata is a very popular sweet, creamy drink made by mixing the milky juice of tiger nuts with white sugar. With a smooth blend of hazelnut and almond flavors, tiger nuts are the key ingredient used to create the sweet signature taste of horchata but since tiger nuts are only harvested in Valencia, horchata is very rarely available outside of Spain. The drink must be refrigerated to ensure that upon serving, it is extremely cold and refreshing. Traditionally horchata is accompanied with long thin buns known as “fartons”.

Clara

Clara is a refreshing blend of beer and lemon soda, typically created by combining 2 parts beer, 1 part lemon soda but this can be altered depending on the individual tastes. Often consumed during lunchtime, the drink is a popular choice for many people living in or visiting Spain.

Related article: Where to drink a good beer in Barcelona

Mojito

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Originating in Cuba, the Mojito is a well-known alcoholic cocktail consumed by many in Spain. Traditionally, the cocktail is made from a mixture of five ingredients, including white rum, sugar, lime juice, club soda and ice and mint to finish. The mojito comes in a wide range of different varieties depending on personal preference- even non-alcoholic mojitos are available by replacing the rum with pineapple juice.

Beer

Spain is the fourth largest producer of beer in Europe and the tenth in the world, many restaurants and cafes offer beer alongside soft drinks at all hours of the days. Typically, Spaniards order a caña (small glass of beer), a tubo (long glass) or a bottle, as opposed to pints of beer, which is more of a British custom. There are a variety of beers which are produced in Spain. The most popular ones are Mortiz, Estrella Damm, Mahou, San Miguel, and Cruz Campo.

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About the author

Chloe Harwood

Chloe is an English graduate from London currently teaching English in Barcelona. She is a lover of travel, books, sunshine and travel.

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