Today it’s finally starting to feel like summer in Madrid – I mean, a nice summer, how summer should be – sun’s out, and it’s hot yet not too hot: about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Unfortunately, Madrid’s summer doesn’t remain like this.  The summer I spent here was insufferable, hovering around 100 degrees F (40 degrees C) during the months of July and August.

As such, drinks exist to quench the summer heat.

“Sangría” is one such drink.  It’s popular in Spain through the year, but especially so during the summer, and it is delicious.  It’s also very easy to make:

wine (since this is the principal ingredient, the better the wine, the better the sangria; however, a medium-quality wine will work just fine)

sugar (to taste)

pieces of fruit: slices of lemon and orange are very typical, as well as diced apples or peaches

Sangría is stronger than it seems and enters easily, so watch out. 😉

After finishing off the pitcher, disperse the pieces of fruit (the apples or peaches more so than the citric fruits) into individual glasses for each person present.  The fruit is the treat at the end of the drink.

“Tinto de verano” is another typical drink to escape the summer’s heat and consists of:

equal parts wine and sparkling water

serve over ice

“Calimocho” is an interesting drink that I was first introduced to by a group of Spanish girls in Bilbao.  It consists of equal parts red wine and Coca Cola.  Worth trying at least once. 😉  This isn’t necessarily a “summer drink” but is another variation on ways to prepare wine.