Spain

Raise a Glass

Spain’s outstanding wines have long been famed, particularly those of La Rioja, but there are plenty of other enticing tipples to try. Celebrate with some cava – the Catalan answer to champagne – savour a full-bodied brandy or sample sherry in its homeland of Andalucía. Don’t miss these must-drinks.

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t Barrels of sherry at Bodegas Osborne, Puerto de Santa María

Eat, Drink and Be Sherry

There’s nothing quite like a glass of ice-cold sherry on a sultry summer evening. The name comes from the English pronunciation of Jerez, and Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Puerto de Santa María are home to several centuries-old bodegas. Founded in 1730, Bodegas Fundador is the oldest and has a vast store, known as “La Mezquita” because of its Moorish arches. Book a tour to learn about how the fortified wine is made or indulge in a paired lunch, where every dish comes with a different sherry (www.grupoemperadorspain.com).

Cocktail Hour

Masters of mixology can be found in all the major cities. In Madrid, Museo Chicote serves up El Chicote – vermouth, gin, Curaçao and Grand Marnier (museochicote.com). Behind it is Bar Cock (www.barcock.com), a wood-panelled gin joint, famed during la movida. In Barcelona, the gin-and-tonic craze shows no signs of abating: try one at the XIX bar (www.xixbar.com).

Get a Grape

Spain is the world’s third-largest wine producer, with more than a million acres of vineyards. The most famous Spanish variety is grown in La Rioja, where you’ll find stunning wineries such as Ysios, whose undulating design mimics both the surrounding mountains and a row of barrels. For the ultimate La Rioja experience, book a room at Marqués de Riscal – a hotel offering wine-related spa treatments.

Bubbly Personality

Catalonia has produced cava – the sparkling white wine – since the late 19th century, when the red vines of Penedès were devastated by the phylloxera plague. Sant Sadurní d’Anoia is at the centre of the industry and is home to the Castellroig and Codorníu wineries, where you can cycle through the vines.

Don’t Worry, Be Hoppy

Barcelona’s Eixample district has so many microbreweries that it’s been called “Beerxample”. We love Kraftank (www.kraftankbarcelona.com) and BeirCaB (www.biercab.com). Valencia, too, has plenty of options, including Olhöps (www.beerhouse.olhops.com). Chinaski (www.chinaskilavapies.com) in Madrid serves up craft beers in its technicolour interior, while Källa Beer Factory (www.cerveceriakalla.com) represents Scandi cool.

Modern Sherry

In the 17th century, wars across Europe led sherry sales to plummet. To try to salvage some of this stock, producers began to add new wine to the old. This became known as the solera system. Three distinct types of sherry emerged – oloroso, which is dark and nutty, pale and dry fino and manzanilla, which is bone dry, but has a distinctive salty tang.

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