It’s summer again, and you decide to arrange a trip to Spain. You’ve made absolutely the right choice: you can expect great weather, guaranteed sunshine and several days in which to discover the delicious Spanish gastronomy. And to accompany your dishes, what better than some of the cooling drinks that are typically served at this time of year, and are staples of the Spanish summer? Here are a couple of suggestions for drinks to order when you're in Spain:

-At lunchtime: a great way to accompany your lunches and dinners is with what’s known as “tinto de verano” (“summer red wine”), a typical Spanish combination of red wine with fizzy lemonade or soda water. Other options: a delicious jug of sangria, with red wine, chopped fruit, sugar and –depending on the area and the local customs– a few “special touches” such as cinnamon or rum. And if you like the idea of combining wine with other drinks, a favourite with young people is what they call “calimocho” –red wine mixed with cola. And beer lovers shouldn’t miss what’s known in Spain as a “clara”, or shandy –beer with fizzy lemonade or soda water, served ice cold. The ideal way to enjoy all these drinks is sitting on one of the terraces that are set up in summer outside numerous bars and restaurants in Spain as soon as the good weather arrives (and many of these are right by the beach).

-After the meal: what better to round off a really good meal than to enjoy a refreshing drink to recharge your batteries. Why not try a typical iced coffee? All you do is add sugar to the hot coffee and then pour it into the glass full of ice with which it is served. Another suggestion? Cream of orujo (a type of brandy) or pacharán (sloe liqueur) over ice. Delicious.

-Something for all ages: if you prefer alcohol-free drinks there’s also a whole range of options to choose from. One favourite with both young and old alike, and very popular all over Spain (particularly in the area of the Region of Valencia) is the creamy drink known as horchata, which is made with water, sugar and tiger nuts. You’ll love the taste, and particularly if you drink it accompanied by the long sweet pastries known as fartónes, an inseparable complement to this drink. And of course you have to try the sorbets, fresh citrus juices over crushed ice, fruit juices, lemonade, leche merengada, a drink made of milk, sugar, eggs, lemon and cinnamon, served ice cold, which is an instant hit with everyone who tries it.

-All over Spain: as well as all the drinks mentioned above, many areas in Spain have their own special drinks which are ideally suited to the hottest months of the year. Here are a couple of examples to whet your appetite: Valencia water, made with orange juice and cava; and the drink known as rebujito, typical of Andalusia, and which features a combination of dry sherry and fizzy lemonade or soda water.The food’s on the table… just choose your drink!

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