Cocktails in Spain
Cocktails are always a lot of fun and they are always creative. From their names to their ingredients, we always recognise cocktails as being a flashy way of enjoying a drink. No doubt you have heard of sangria from friends who have been abroad, or maybe you even tried it yourself the last time you decided to visit Spain, but there are so many more Spanish cocktails for you to discover!
Brief History of Cocktails
Cocktails were originally made in order to hide the bad tastes of certain alcohols made in the past. The origin of the word 'cocktail' is unknown and there are many different theories. One tells that it was chosen because the drinks are as flashy as the tail of the cockerel, while others say that they used to decorate the drink with the feathers of an actual cockerel's tail which later developed into the little umbrellas and fruit pieces we use today. Either way, the mixing of drinks eventually became popular across the world as it meant you get more drinks from existing ingredients.
Cocktails became particularly popular in America during the 1920s when the Prohibition was in force as it meant people could continue to drink without being suspected. From then on however, cocktails saw a fall in popularity due to the rise in the consumption of drugs, especially during the 60s and 70s. Nowadays, cocktails are undergoing a revival and people are beginning to appreciate the art of cocktail making as well as their taste.
In general however, cocktails are normally made with at least one spirit combined with other drink and ingredients. This means that sangria and other wine based cocktails are not technically cocktails as they do not include a spirit. However, here at Spanish Wines we have decided to include wine based mixes as they are so common and so well loved among Spaniards and foreigners alike.
Cocktails in Spain
Spain is extremely famous for its excellent Spanish wine and other alcoholic drinks which are made with the utmost care and are always good quality. It seems strange therefore, that a country such as Spain, with such good quality drinks, would be such a fan of mixing drinks and creating combinations of alcohol and other ingredients. Yet the truth is they do!
Perhaps it is due to the large variety of drinks and other ingredients that Spain has to offer, that so many Spanish cocktails have appeared over time. All of the cocktails that we have featured here on Spanish wines include an alcohol that has been produced in Spain whether that is brandy, Sherry, wine or gin.
Furthermore, many of the cocktails in Spain make use of the diverse range of products that are grown in Spain. Spanish fruit makes a large appearance in a number of Spanish cocktails, most notably in Sangria, but in Queimada and Zurracapote as well. Similarly orange juice is frequently used as this is one of the characteristic fruits of Spain. All of this just shows the creativity and ingenuity of the Spanish to make use of the great ingredients from their surroundings.
Today, many of the cocktails you will find on Spanish Wines have become showpieces for tourists; no more so than sangria. However a vast majority are still well loved by people across Spain. Some of the drinks are even prepared especially for certain celebrations held in some of Spain's cities, such as Rebujito; commonly made for the April festivals which you will see if you visit Sevilla.
Cocktails are great fun to make and to drink, and Spanish cocktails are no exception to this. If you want to find out more about Spanish cocktails and how to make them, why don't you check out some of our pages, the links for which can be found below. Just make sure you have enough cocktail glasses to go round.
- Sangria - The most famous Spanish cocktail made with red wine, fruit and sugar
- Queimada - An old Galician cocktail which has its own spell
- Agua de Valencia - An improvised cocktail that became all the rage in the Community of Valencia
- Calimocho and Tinto de Verano - Two cheap and cheerful red wine cocktails
- More Spanish cocktails - Still thirsty? Well check out our quick recipes for some other Spanish cocktails