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What to Drink in Madrid

The words Madrid and wine bring on mages of sultry nights and wine.  The famous writer, Ernest Hemingway, certainly indulged in his love for sherry in this city, but sherry is not the only drink available in Madrid. A visit to this lovely place should include a taste of the many drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) that Madrilenos love.

Worth Trying in Madrid

The list in Top Ten Drinks to Try in Madrid includes sangria, mojito, cana, tinto de verano, café con leche, black tea, vino tinto, horchata, sidra, and coca-cola. The article explains what makes each drink so popular.

For example, sangria is made in Madrid with red wine, brandy, and fruit. However, in authentic Madrileno sangria the fruit has to be aged. A favorite in cafes and restaurants is tinto de verano: “Tinto de verano (summer wine), a wine-based drink usually diluted with Gaseosa, a type of carbonated lemonade. In fact, tinto de verano is usually cheaper than sangria (and more widely drunk among locals), so maybe you’re better off buying this drink. Your call…”

Coffee and tea are prepared a little differently in Madrid: “Madrileños drink their coffee like they drink their alcohol: a lot. Try some fordesayuno (breakfast) with churros con chocolate. Classic. Sugary. Caffeinated…”

“Black tea: Also not an alcoholic drink. Nor is it unique to Madrid. But most menús del día offer té or coffee as finishers to wake lazy siesta-ers after a long meal. Some shops in the city offer black tea in its boldest loose-leaf form, others in perfectly acceptable, British-style tea bags. Nothing says classy like black tea and flan with caramel sauce (yum)…”

Horchata, a drink made of rice and cinnamon is a sweet thirst quencher that is often served with churros. It is a drink that is most sought after in summer, and it is available in most markets and cafes.

Sidra or cider is served with a flourish in Madrid, the liquid is poured into your glass with the waiter holding the bottle three feet above your head. Trust your drink to be served with drama in Madrid.

In City Life Madrid’s  “5 Classic Spanish Drinks You Must Try This Summer!Leah Warner adds cava to this list. She says, You don’t need to be celebrating to drink Champagne! And the same goes for the Spanish equivalent called Cava. Cava is a refreshing, bubbly beverage that can be served in white or rose. The drink is served cold and is commonly mixed with a variety of fruits. In fact, some recipes suggest that you add Cava to your Sangria recipe to give it an extra kick!”

The Right Drink for Madrid Foods

Food in Madrid is rich and usually strongly flavored. It is good to have a list of wines and drinks to match with Madrid’s most popular dishes. From his own food and drink experience trip, Rolf Potts provides some guidance regarding this in Tapas for ignoramuses: Madrid in 9 Dishes and 7 Drinks posted in RTW Blog.

During a visit to Museo de Jamon he had a small piece of chorizo with clara, a drink made of beer and citrus market. For a plate of calamares and spicy peppers, he had tinto de vreano (red wine mixed with citrus soda). In his experience, Tinto de Verano also goes well with pig’s blood sausage (Morcilla de Burgos) and tripe with sausages (Callos a la Madrilena). Cider works excellently with French-fried potatoes in hot sauce (Patatas bravas), potato omelet on bread and (Tortilla Espanola).

Madrid’s Best Wines

There are some wines from all over Spain that you will have a chance to try when you are in Madrid. You may want to try Valdeorras D.O. which is a dry white wine brewed specially for Real Madrid Football Club. It is, however, made from Godella, an indigenous white grape variety grown in the Northern part of Spain.

If you want to begin with wines categorized as Vinos de Madrid by the Denominación de Origen (DO), look for wines made in the three Madrid subzones: Arganda, San Martin, and Navalcarnero.

From Arganda subzone, the most notable wine would be Tempranillo, but Cabernet, Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Garnacha are available as well. The Malvar from this wine is said to be highly recommended, but if you have a fondness for Moscatel, this Madrid subzone has it too.

San Martin’s garnacha is recommended, along with the subzone’s white albillo. Navalcarnero produces excellent garnacha and Malvar. Both San Martin and Navalcarnero produce over a dozen varieties of Madrid wines so you can find practically any bottle you fancy.

The thing to remember about Spanish wines is that they are meant to perfectly complement Spanish dishes. That is why as a whole, Madrid wines are robust, full-bodied, rich, and thoroughly enjoyable.

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