Spanish Food and Drink

Tinto de Verano – and other Spanish Summer Delights

Marina and I are staying up at the in-laws place in the Sierra above Madrid for a few days, where the skies are blue, the air is sweet with the smell of the pines that grow in everyone’s gardens, lizards bask on paving stones, and the summer heat feels just fine in the light, silent breeze.

We wake up with fresh fruit and bird song, and wifi means I can sit writing this from out on an awning-covered terrace, watching those lazy lizards, and the neighbour’s cats that amble self-righteously across the garden. This is the life.

Last night we wandered down to the local bar and sat outside drinking one of the greatest summer beverages ever invented: tinto de verano (literally, ‘summer red’). You take a big glass, full of ice, then pour cheap red wine up to the half-way line, and fill to the top with lemonade. Add a slice of lemon and there you have it, instant, light-headed summer refreshment:

tinto de verano

Tapas suggestions? Perfect with a plate of ham croquetas or patatas fritas.

(More on Spanish tapas phrases at Notes in Spanish).