Tinto de Verano

Have the days blurred in your head, and you can't distinguish Thursday from Saturday? One thing's for sure, the heat these days is starting to feel unbearable. Last week, I went on my regular grocery run in sweatpants, a mask, bandana and gloves, and when I peeled them off upon returning home, they were all soaked, all in just under an hour!


Now is the best time to have a refreshing drink that reminds me of warm summer days in Spain. While sangrias seem to be the beverage of choice for some when it comes to entertaining, and those fruits swimming in that ice-cold jug definitely are a thirst quencher, I prefer having tinto de verano (literally translated to "the red wine of summer") because it's fizzier and has a tangy taste. I first had a glass of this at the rooftop terrace of Il Corte Ingles facing the Plaza de Santa Ana, after a long day of exploring the streets of Madrid during a dog-day August, and thinking: "where have you been all my life?" Seriously.


It may initially sound strange to mix red wine with soda, but here's why tinto de verano is so genius: you can make use of good table wine or that leftover mid-ranged wine that you've opened from a previous dinner. Just make sure you get a reasonable brand of wine that's not too fruity, lest you get a headache the next day from all that sugar mixed with alcohol.


There are two versions of the tinto de verano which you can make at home: con limon, with a lemon-based soft drink e.g. Sprite or 7-Up; or con blanca, which is red wine with gaseosa, or soda water. Personally, I prefer tinto de verano con blanca, as it's less sweet, and I can use either club soda or tonic water with a slice of lemon to give it a nice citrusy kick. It's also possible to combine the con limon and con blanca version, by using a can of sparking lemon water (less sugar, but still carbonated). Best of all, I can drink this anytime of the day or week...since we're all staying indoors, why not make anytime a happy hour?


 

Ingredients:


1/2 cup red wine

1/2 cup soda water (Schwepps tonic or soda water, or San Pellegrino sparkling lemon water)

A handful of ice cubes


Combine all the ingredients together. Add an extra squeeze from a lemon slice if you want. That's it. Cheers!