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Easy Tinto De Verano Recipe From Spain

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

Having asked the waiter to bring whatever liquid refreshment 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.

What is tinto de verano, anyway?

Literally, tinto de verano means “red wine of summer.” Think of it as a red wine spritzer similar to sangria—except in Spain, it is much more popular! You’ll find tinto de verano at most parties, festivals, and local bars.

The difference between tinto de verano and sangria is that traditional sangria includes a variety of fruits as well as ingredients such as brandy and sugar or simple syrup. Whereas tinto de verano is much less complex and is made of red wine, a fruity soft drink, and ice.

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.

ⓘ TIP: If you’re on a budget, forget the sangria and order tinto de verano instead. Spaniards know tourists are familiar with sangria, so they sell it in restaurants at a higher price. Not only is tinto de verano far more affordable than sangria, but it’s also easier to drink in volume.

How to make tinto de verano (recipe)

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 La Casera, a lightly-sweetened, lemon-flavored soda. The best La Casera alternative is Sprite.

In the US or UK, La Casera is available on Amazon.

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?)

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!

Tinto de Verano

Literally, tinto de verano means “red wine of summer.” It's a refreshing wine cooler that's served throughout Spain and it's super-easy to make!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Spanish
Servings: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 ice cubes
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup Casera see notes
  • 2 slices of lemon or orange for garnish

Instructions

  • Fill two glasses with ice cubes and citrus slices
  • Pour half the wine into each glass
  • Top with Casera or other soda
  • Stir just to combine
  • Enjoy

Notes

Red Wine: Any red table wine will work, including rioja, garnacha (a Spanish grenache), or pinot noir. Make sure the wine is drinkable on its own — otherwise you won’t enjoy it!
Casera: If you can’t find Casera, you can use any lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite, 7-Up, or a mix of lemonade and soda water. You can also turn it into a tinto de verano con naranja by using orange soda instead.
Citrus: Tinto de verano usually contains orange or lemon slices. If you want something more fruit-forward, go for sangria.
Optional: You can also add a splash of vermouth or rum if you want to fortify the drink, though most people don’t.

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Two glasses of red tinto de verano with lemon garnish on green background. Text overlay says Tinto de Verano Spanish Wine Cocktail

Where to find tinto de verano in Spain

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

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, and rolled his eyes. 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, much more affordable than its touristy sangria cousin, and a lot easier to make.

How to make tinto de verano (video)

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Written by Linda

Linda is multilingual and has been to around 60 countries. Her insatiable love of travel, cuisine, and foreign languages 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.

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4 thoughts on “Easy Tinto De Verano 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.

    Ryan

    • 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.

      Linda

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