My husband spent a month in southern Spain at the beginning of the summer so I flew out and joined him. Our favorite part of Madrid (aside from the tortillas which I'm a bit too intimidated to attempt!) was the tintos. I hate to admit it but we downed at least 2-3 of them a day with lunch and dinner. I was initially prepared to drink lots of sangria until I read that sangria is what the tourist drink and all the real locals drink tinto de verano, literally "wine of summer".
Almost all the of red wine we ordered in Spain was served chilled. Seriously, why don't we do that in the states? It was SO GOOD. Tinto is simpler than sangria with only two ingredients: half chilled red wine and half lemon soda. Literally that's it. And it is so so good. And a glass will cost you only around 2-4 euros. Cheap.
When we got back we couldn't wait to make it ourselves. We typically don't ever drink soda, and we definitely don't keep it in the house, so after splurging on some lemon flavored San Pellegrino, I figured couldn't I make this simpler at home with ingredients I already have on hand. I thought about making my own lemon soda with simple syrup but the idea of sitting over a stove dissolving sugar then waiting hours for the liquid to cool felt counter the the simple nature of this drink. So we ended up going with sparkling water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and a bit of agave, no stove required. We bought cheap Spanish wine from trader joe's, mix it all together and poured it over ice. The result is the perfect summer drink that transports us right back to our favorite tapas bars. The best part is, this slightly more natural version, keeps with the simplicity of the drink and literally comes together in 3 minutes.
It's helping me savor these last precious weeks of summer before grad school starts again.
Makes 2 drinks
1 1/3 cup sparkling water, chilled
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons agave
1 1/2 cups Spanish red wine*, chilled
Mix together water, lemon juice, and agave. Pour in red wine and stir. Serve over ice.
Notes: From what I've read tinto is usually made with Spanish table wine, so no need to splurge on something fancy. I recommend a lighter juicer wine like pinot, nothing too rich and tanine-y.