The Best Spanish Tinto de Verano Recipe - Simple Spanish Summer Wine

The Best Spanish Tinto de Verano Recipe – Simple Spanish Summer Wine

Tinto de verano is a refreshing combination of red wine and lemon soda. It’s what we drink in Spain in the summertime — usually instead of sangria.

With warm weather right around the corner, it’s the perfect time for Melissa to share her homemade tinto de verano recipe!

Two tall glasses of Spanish tinto de verano and a clear pitcher pouring more into one of them.
Refreshing tinto de verano — the perfect summer drink!

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.

A tall glass of tinto de verano with an orange slice on the rim.
A tall glass of tinto de verano

“But what about sangria?” (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 Spanish bar.

See also: Spanish Sangria, 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!

pitcher of tinto de verano with citrus fruit and two tall glasses
Citrus packed homemade tinto de verano

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!

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.

Key Ingredients

Ingredients to make tinto de verano on a white marble countertop

Key Ingredients: Red wine, lemon soda, orange and lemon slices, ice cubes.

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

We keep this recipe pretty simple here in Spain, but there are a few things you can play around with!

  • Red Wine: I recommend a young, fruity red wine. A Spanish garnacha (grenache), or a pinot noir would work well. Make sure the wine is drinkable on its own — otherwise you’ll be looking at a harsh hangover! That said, don’t use a super fancy wine for this, there is no need.
  • Lemon Soda: If you can’t find lemon fanta, don’t worry. You can use a mix of lemonade and soda water. You can also make this using orange soda (some people in Spain prefer tinto de verano con naranja) or simply use some sparkling water and simple syrup.
  • Citrus: The traditional fruit you’ll find in your tinto de verano is orange and lemon slices. If you want something more fruit-filled, try sangria.
  • Vermouth: This is totally optional and not an ingredient in most places, but I love it! I recommend an ounce of vermouth per glass of tinto de verano.

Tinto de Verano: Step by Step

Making tinto de verano couldn’t be easier! Unlike sangria, it doesn’t have to be prepared in advance.

Steps 1-2: Grab a large pitcher and add the ice and bottle of red wine. Then fill the rest with lemon soda, leaving a bit of space to add the citrus fruit.

Making tinto de verano steps 1-2 in a grid. Pouring red wine in a pitcher and adding lemon soda.

Steps 3-4: Slice up some oranges, lemons, or both and add to the pitcher. Add the vermouth here if using (or you can add to the individual glasses later on). Give everything is slight stir (don’t mix too much or you’ll lose the carbonation). Serve immediately!

Making tinto de verano - steps 3-4 in a grid. Adding citrus and stirring.

Recipe Tips & FAQs

What is the difference between sangria and tinto de verano?

Sangria and tinto de verano are both red wine based alcoholic drinks from Spain. However, traditional sangria includes a variety of fruits that are allowed to macerate in the wine. It also includes additional ingredients, such as brandy and sugar or simple syrup. It does not traditionally include a soft drink. Tinto de verano is much less complex, and is made of red wine, a soft drink, and ice.

When do you drink tinto de verano in Spain?

Tinto de verano translates to summer wine because it is a typical beverage in the warm weather. Many people drink tinto de verano throughout the day, for an aperitif or to accompany some tapas.

Overhead shot of a pitcher of tinto de verano with orange slices
Such a simple and refreshing recipe.

Serving Suggestions

I love sipping a tinto de verano at lunchtime — it’s cold, refreshing, and not too boozy. It is the perfect pairing for an array of Spanish tapas or delicious seafood paella.

More Spanish Cocktail Recipes

If you love tinto de verano, don’t miss these refreshing Spanish cocktails!

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pitcher of tinto de verano with citrus fruit and two tall glasses

Tinto de Verano Recipe

Spanish tinto de verano is the perfect drink to cool you down on a hot summer day.
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Print (images optional) Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Spanish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 172.98kcal
Author: Melissa Haun

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle (750 ml) of young and fruity red wine
  • 750 ml of lemon-flavored soda You can substitute orange soda or equal parts lemonade and soda water.
  • 1 orange sliced
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 200 ml of sweet vermouth (6 oz) optional
  • Ice cubes

Instructions

  • Uncork the wine and pour it into a large pitcher.
  • Add the soda and stir slightly.
  • Add the lemon and orange slices, as well as the vermouth if using. Stir just to combine.
  • Serve over ice.

Notes

  • Red Wine: I recommend a young, fruity red wine. A Spanish garnacha (grenache), or a pinot noir would work well. Make sure the wine is drinkable on its own — otherwise you’ll be looking at a harsh hangover! That said, don’t use a super fancy wine for this, there is no need.
  • Lemon Soda: If you can’t find lemon Fanta, don’t worry. You can use a mix of lemonade and soda water. You can also make this using orange soda (some people in Spain prefer tinto de verano con naranja) or simply use some sparkling water and simple syrup.
  • Citrus: The traditional fruit you’ll find in your tinto de verano is orange and lemon slices. If you want something more fruit-filled, try sangria.
  • Vermouth: This is totally optional and not an ingredient in most places, but I love it! I recommend an ounce of vermouth per glass of tinto de verano.

Nutrition

Calories: 172.98kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.53g | Protein: 0.6g | Fat: 0.08g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 17.86mg | Potassium: 224.36mg | Fiber: 1.03g | Sugar: 16.01g | Vitamin A: 55.59IU | Vitamin C: 21.16mg | Calcium: 25.91mg | Iron: 0.73mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @spanishsabores on IG and hashtag it #spanishsabores!

Update Notice: This post was originally published on April 22, 2018 and was republished with new text and photos on March 30, 2021.

Have you tried this tinto de verano recipe? Got any tips and tricks to share? 

Photography by Giulia Verdinelli

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