Tinto de Verano

An Effervescent Spanish Wine Cocktail

Tinto de verano recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
153 Calories
0g Fat
17g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 22mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 160mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The name tinto de verano translates into English as “red wine of summer.” It is a refreshing wine cocktail served during the warm months all over Spain. Although similar to sangria, it is easier to make and has less alcohol in it, ideal for sipping on a hot afternoon at a pool party or at the beach. Tinto de verano has become so popular in Spain that it is sold already-made in cans. If you order it from a bar when visiting the country, be aware that you might receive this canned version; it doesn't necessarily taste bad, but it does not taste like the freshly made version. 

This Spanish cocktail was originally named un Vargas after the man who invented it. In the early 20th century, Federico Vargas came up with the mixture of red wine and lemon soda as a way to offer refreshment to those finding refuge from the hot sun at his establishment, El Brillante, in the city of Córdoba. Artists, guitarists, and bohemians all found this cooling drink so enjoyable, word quickly spread throughout Spain, and tinto de verano became synonymous with feeling relief from Spain's summer heat.

What Red Wine Should I Use?

Because this drink is served over ice and mixed with soda, there is no need to splurge on an expensive red. However, because of the simplicity of this drink, you want to pick a wine that is still delicious on its own (a typical $12 to $15 bottle would be an ideal price point). A light-bodied red such as Spanish Grenache, a Pinot Noir, or French Côtes-du-Rhône would all be delicious in this drink.

Recipe Tips

  • To ensure the most refreshingly cold tinto de veranto, chill both the wine and the lemon-lime soda in advance.
  • This drink is easily scaled up to make a pitcher or punchbowl full for your next BBQ or party.
  • Although the Spanish use Fanta Limón, what they call a gaseosa or casera, you can use any lemon-lime soda. If it is too sweet for your taste, add a splash of soda water or seltzer. You can even use lemonade mixed with club soda if you like.

What's the Difference Between Tinto de Verano and Sangria?

Tinto de Verano is a simple equal-parts mixture of red wine and lemon-lime soda making a very simple drink and ideal for making at the beach or a picnic. Sangria, on the other hand, can be made with red or white wine, and also includes brandy, additional sugar, and is often loaded with citrus fruit wheels, peaches, or berries. In cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, restaurants stir up large pitchers of sangria and sell them for high prices while those "in the know" enjoy a refreshing glass of tinto de verano without breaking the bank. 

"This refreshing drink couldn't be easier and is perfect on a hot summer's day. It reminds me of another Spanish classic I love-- the Kalimotxo-- which combines red wine and Coke. Scale up or down on the amount of lemon-lime soda used based on how sweet you like your drinks. I opted for a light and juicy Tempranillo wine." - Kristin Stangl

tinto de verano
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 3 to 4 ice cubes

  • 4 ounces red wine

  • 4 ounces lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite or 7-Up

  • 1 slice lemon, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for tinto de verano
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Place ice cubes in a tall Collins glass.

    Place ice cubes in a tall glass
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Add red wine and soda, stirring to combine.

    Add red wine and soda
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Garnish with a lemon slice.

    Tinto de verano with a slice of lemon
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Recipe Variations

  • Consider choosing an Italian soda as a mixer with your wine; there is a wide range of intense citrus flavors available at most grocery stores from brands like San Pellegrino.
  • A little splash of sweet vermouth is a nice touch, as are a few slices of fresh citrus fruit.

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