Summer Sips: Drinks to Cool You Off in Spain

Icon Share


Advisor - Jean Zelt
Curated By

Jean Zelt

  • Spain

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Sightseeing

  • Outdoors

  • Local Food

drink in spain
Curator’s statement

If there's one thing you can be sure of when visiting Spain in the summer, it's that you'll be greeted with scorching heat. And that was precisely my experience during my recent visit to the vibrant city of Madrid. With temperatures soaring, I quickly learned that the locals had some delightful tricks up their sleeve to beat the heat — refreshing summer drinks! So, in this guide, I'll take you on a virtual tour of some of the most popular Spanish summer sips that will keep you cool and satisfied during the hottest months.

The Fora Difference

Book with Jean to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

[object Object]
Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

[object Object]
Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

[object Object]
Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Spain

Unlock perks by contacting Jean to book your trip.

Things to drink in Spain

An orange colored drink with orange piece inside on a brown table outdoors.

Vermut: The Spanish Aperitif with a Twist

Also known as Vermouth in some regions, Vermut is a fortified wine infused with a variety of botanicals, including aromatic herbs, roots and spices. The result is a flavorful, slightly bitter and highly refreshing drink. It is typically served on the rocks, garnished with a slice of orange, lemon or a green olive. If you can find it, give Vermut naranja (orange vermouth) a try.

Tinto de Verano: The Red Wine Cooler

When you think of Spain, wine undoubtedly comes to mind, but drinking a heavy red wine during a sweltering summer day might not be the most appealing idea. The Spanish have come up with a delightful solution - Tinto de Verano (“red wine of summer”). It's a light and refreshing cooler made by mixing red wine with either sparkling water or lemon soda.

Cerveza: The Classic Spanish Beer

Cerveza (beer) is a staple during the summer months, and the Spanish love to savor it in various forms. Whether you prefer a light and crisp lager or a more flavorful craft ale, you won't be disappointed with the variety of beers available in Spain. Major Spanish brands include Mahou (Madrid), Estrella Damm (Barcelona) and Ambar (Zaragoza), and craft beer fans have a multitude of options, such as Fábrica Maravillas (Madrid), Edge (Barcelona), Naparbier (Navarra) and Basqueland (Basque Country).

Sidra: The Spanish Cider Sensation

Sidra, the Spanish cider, is not your typical sweet appley drink; it's a bit tart, cloudy, uncarbonated and (IMHO) very refreshing. To serve Sidra in the traditional Asturian way, a special spout is inserted into the bottle and the drink is poured from high above the glass, just a little at a time. This creates a bit of a show, allows the cider to aerate and creates some bubbles. You drink the entire pour in one go before the bubbles escape, then repeat.

Gin Tonic: The Gin and Tonic Remastered

Gin and Tonic seems to be having a moment everywhere, and Spain is no different, perhaps even ahead of the curve. It's not just a simple mix of gin and tonic water; instead, it's a carefully crafted combination of premium gins, various botanicals, fruits and herbs resulting in a complex and aromatic cocktail that's immensely popular in trendy bars across Spain.

Spanish Wine: A Timeless Elixir

Of course, no list of Spanish drinks is complete without a nod to the many fantastic varieties of wine. If it’s too hot for the full-bodied reds of Rioja and Ribera del Duero, try the crisp whites of Rías Baixas and Rueda. If you want some bubbly, pop open a Cava, sparkling wine made using traditional Champagne methods but hailing from the Catalonia region (of which Barcelona is the capital).

Of course, you don’t have to drink alcohol to cool off. For those who prefer something nonalcoholic (sin alcohol), try limonada (fresh lemonade), zumo de frutas (fruit juice), refrescos (soft drinks, like Coke or Fanta) or agua mineral (mineral water; still: sin gas, sparkling: con gas).

So there you have it - six (plus) fantastic liquid options for cooling off in Spain. When you need a break from the heat, these refreshing beverages will keep you hydrated, happy and immersed in the rich and diverse Spanish culture. Next time you find yourself sweating it out in Spain, be sure to give Vermut, Tinto de Verano, Cerveza, Sidra, Gin Tonic or local wines a try - salud!

Places to drink (and eat) in Spain

A glass of lime drink with ice outside.

From bustling tapas bars to chic rooftop terraces, Madrid offers an array of drinking (and eating) spots, each with its own unique charm and offerings. From hidden speakeasies to lively beer halls, these venues provide a place to relax, slake your thirst and drink up some Spanish culture.

La Musa Latina: This lively tapas bar located in the heart of Madrid's La Latina neighborhood offers a wide range of drinks and has a charming interior, but on a summer day, grab an outdoor table on the Plaza de la Paja.

Casa Suecia Rooftop: Located at the NH Collection Hotel Madrid Suecia, this rooftop bar offers stunning views of the city skyline, while the Hemingway Cocktail Bar, a hidden gem within the hotel, serves expertly crafted cocktails inspired by the literary legend himself.

Gin Club: This stylish bar caters (obviously) to gin enthusiasts, offering an extensive selection of gins from around the world, expertly crafted cocktails, and sophisticated ambiance.

Cerveceria Alemana: Cerveceria Alemana, another Hemingway haunt, is an iconic beer hall in Madrid, where locals and visitors alike come to enjoy an impressive variety of beers, from traditional Spanish brews to international favorites.

La Hora del Vermut Mercado de San Miguel: This spot within the renowned Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid is a favorite for vermouth lovers, offering a delightful selection of vermouths and vermouth-based cocktails to enjoy amid the lively market atmosphere.

Fábrica Maravillas: Fábrica Maravillas is a microbrewery and taproom, where beer enthusiasts can sample an ever-changing selection of craft beers brewed on-site.

Reveltosa: Located in Plaza del Rey, this trendy spot offers a diverse selection of drinks, ranging from innovative cocktails to fine wines to sip while doing some mid-afternoon people watching.

Casa Hortensia Restaurante & Sidrería: Enjoy your properly poured Sidra (cider) alongside delicious, traditional Asturian cuisine.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Insider Iceland: Not the Typical Stopover Itinerary.

Advisor - Jean Zelt

Travel Advisor

Jean Zelt

Get in touch with Jean

Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.

You can normally expect a response from Jean within a business day or so. You’ll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Spain.