With May right around the corner, it’s the perfect time for Melissa to share her homemade tinto de verano recipe!
Spring has finally begun in Madrid. The temperatures are rising and the days are getting longer… and it’s that time of year again to enjoy one of my favorite Spanish pastimes: sitting on a sunny terrace and sipping a tall glass of tinto de verano.
“But what about sangría?” (you might ask). Yes, it’s true that this iconic Spanish drink is also readily available, but it’s actually much more common to find tinto de verano, its fizzy cousin, on the menu of your average bar.
See also: Spanish Sangría, Explained
The first time I tried tinto de verano, I was sitting on a seaside terrace in Barcelona with some friends. We ordered a pitcher to share… and then another. And then one more. Let’s just say it was love at first sip.
I also learned an important lesson that day. Tinto de verano may taste like nothing more than a slightly alcoholic fruit punch, but it’ll sneak up on you. Rest assured that after several glasses of it, you’ll need an afternoon siesta to sleep off the buzz. You’ve been warned!
What is tinto de verano?
Literally, tinto de verano means “summer red wine.” Essentially, it’s a mixture of Spanish red wine with a fruity soft drink. In Spain, the mixer is usually Fanta Limón (lemon Fanta). But if you can’t find this particular soda, you can always substitute Sprite, 7-Up, or even a mixture of lemonade and soda water. As long as it’s sweet, fizzy, and lemony, the result will be delicious.
Add a splash of vermouth for an extra kick, and garnish with fresh citrus fruit to create the perfect aesthetic!
Keep in mind that if you order tinto de verano at a bar, you might be getting a pre-bottled concoction that’s high in sugar and low in flavor. There are plenty of places that mix it fresh right on the spot, but there’s also a good chance the bartender is pouring from a two-liter bottle of Don Simon.
Still delicious, but not exactly what you might be expecting. If you want to taste the real thing, the best bet is probably to make it yourself!
See also: Summer Cocktails to Beat the Heat
The best tinto de verano recipe
Whether you’re hosting a party in Spain or trying to recreate the tranquil terraces of Spanish summers past, this tinto de verano recipe is exactly what you need.
You can adapt it based on the ingredients you have available, and adjust the proportions to your liking. But whatever you do, sip it outside in the sun, the way it’s meant to be enjoyed.
Taste it! We try tinto de verano on our Devour Madrid tapas tours.
- 1 bottle (750 ml) of Spanish red wine
- 750 ml of lemon-flavored soda, tonic water, or equal parts lemonade and soda water.
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 200 ml of sweet vermouth (optional)
- Uncork the wine and pour it into a large pitcher.
- Add the soda or tonic water and stir well.
- Add the lemon and orange slices, as well as the vermouth if using. Stir to combine.
- Serve over ice.
Have you tried our tinto de verano recipe? Got any tips and tricks to share?