Tinto De Verano: You Need To Try This Easy Recipe From Spain


I was introduced to tinto de verano on our first evening in Madrid.

Having asked the waiter to bring whatever he recommended, I was a bit taken aback when be brought out a small glass with ice, a 4-ounce carafe of red wine and a small bottle of some sort of clear, fizzy drink. That did not look at all appealing. Here I had been expecting him to bring out a glass of whatever flavorful local red wine he recommended – hopefully one of Spain’s famous Riojas – and I was getting ice?

Well, far be it from me to refuse to try something different, especially after asking him for his advice.

“How do I drink it?” I asked.

“You mix the two together in the glass. The flavor changes depending on how you mix it. Try different ways and see what you like. I will come back to see what you think.” He nodded and walked away.

wine glass with tinto de verano, lemon and ice. Half of a lemon and 7-up can in background.

What is tinto de verano, anyway?

Tinto de verano literally translates to “red wine of summer” in English (red wine is called “tinto” in Spanish). Think of it as a red wine spritzer It is a cold, wine-based drink similar to sangria, but it is more popular in Spain. You’ll find tinto de verano at most parties, festivals, and local bars.

Here’s what I figured out: If you’re on a budget, forget the sangria and order tinto de verano. Spaniards know tourists are familar with sangria, so they sell it in restaurants at a higher price. Not only tinto de verano far more affordable than sangria, it’s easier to drink in volume.

Well, it certainly looked refreshing. I examined the label on the fizzy drink in question: La Casera gaseosa. Nope, didn’t look familiar, so … I poured half a glass of red wine and filled the rest with this gaseosa stuff and took a sip of my icy creation. It was slightly sweet with a strong grape flavor and just a hint of red wine. “Oh, wow,” I told Dan, “I think I like this more than sangria.”

He looked at me, doubtful. “Try it,” I offered. Like me, he loved it at first sip. I made a mental “Note to Self:” Learn how to make tinto de verano. And order it again.

Small juice glass, box of Spanish red table wine, and bottle of La Casera, on a picnic table with red tablecloth.

How to make tinto de verano

It turns out that making tinto de verano is far simpler than making sangria. It contains only two ingredients, if you don’t count that it is served over ice and sometimes garnished with a slice of lemon.

To make tinto de verano, you simply mix 1 part of red table wine and 1 part gaseosa. Start with equal parts, then adjust to taste. Any red table wine will work (mine was rioja, a Spanish wine that’s made from cabernet sauvignon grapes). So will any gaseosa.

Gaseosa is a general term for carbonated drinks. The preferred mixer is a lightly-sweetened, lemon-flavored soda (La Casera is the best known brand), but mixing Sprite or 7-Up with carbonated water will be just the same.

What kind of wine? It is really not important what variety of red wine you use. Just keep in mind: If you wouldn’t want to drink the wine on its own, then don’t use it in a punch or cocktail. You don’t have to use your best wine, just use a decent table wine. (You don’t want to end up with a bad hangover, do you?)

Closeup of a glass of red wine and a bottle of red wine

There’s also a variety of tinto de verano made with orange soda, though I imagine it would be much sweeter. Then again, there’s no accounting for taste, because Spaniards also mix red wine and cola. Fortunately for us all, that one goes by a different name.

Tip: You can add vermouth or rum if you want to fortify the drink, but it’s not necessary.

Where it’s served

It didn’t take long to discover that tinto de verano is available everywhere in the summertime. When I asked a bartender at a Madrid tapas bar if he served tinto de verano, he looked offended. “Of course!” he responded. Maybe he was shocked that I would think otherwise.

Me, the clueless tourist.

In any case, tinto de verano would make a refreshing alternative to sangria or wine the next time we have a party or sit by the pool. It’s far more common at Spanish parties and bars, lower in alcohol and calories, more affordable than its touristy cousin, and far easier to make.

Where you can stay

Chime in below: Have you heard of tinto de verano before? Would you try it?

How to make tinto de verano (video)

Save this tinto de verano recipe for later and share it with your friends.

Did you enjoy this article? Pin it to Pinterest and share it with your friends.
Two glasses of red tinto de verano with lemon garnish on green background. Text overlay says Tinto de Verano Spanish Wine Cocktail

Please share this story with your friends.

Written by Linda

Linda is multilingual and has been to around 60 countries. Her insatiable love of travel, cuisine, and foreign languages has inspired her to create As We Saw It with her husband Dan, a professional photographer. Her goal is to make travel easier for others and to offer a brief escape to another land.

You may also like...

We often link to affiliate products and services that we believe will benefit our readers. As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more here,

4 thoughts on “Tinto De Verano: You Need To Try This Easy Recipe From Spain”

  1. Hello Linda I’m Ron in Los Angeles California and I’d like to thank you for posting this article. I have been looking for this mixer for years and now I’ve found it! You see, when I was in college around 1978 I took a Spanish class in Spain during the summer. We stayed with families in Segovia and they would bring out a flip-top bottle of clear mixer to pour into a glass of red wine every day at the dinner table. I had forgotten the name of it so of course no one has ever been able to help me find it. Now I can try it again without having to use 7-up. I’ll let you know what I use it for.

    • Too cool, Ron! I love stories like that and I’m really glad it helped you. I sure hope you let us know how it turns out when you make it. 🙂

      Now I have a serious question for you. I’m dying to know – How the heck did you find this article, if you didn’t know what the drink was called? I obviously did something right, but I don’t know how to repeat it!

  2. Neat Linda. Seems like it’d be up my alley too. I rarely drink but mixing the wine with “gatheotha” (had to say like my Spanish friends LOL) is a fine way to enjoy it. Like a treat. Definitely a change up I’d enjoy on a hot afternoon.


    • Haha – gatheotha. You always make me smile, Ryan. You’re right that it can be refreshing when it’s hot outside. We think it’s a nice way to get the benefits of red wine without having to deal with the fuzzy head that so often follows … if you don’t enjoy it too much.



Leave a Comment