If you’re convinced that red wine should be reserved for the colder, more sweater-worthy months, consider the tinto de verano.
A fizzy, ruby-hued combination of red wine and citrusy soda served over ice, it’s to summer in Spain what a chilled bottle of rosé is to l’été in Provence.
To make it, start by choosing the right tinto or red wine. The Spanish traditionally opt for more robust and tannic table wines: Look to tempranillo, garnacha or monastrell grape varieties or simply ask your neighborhood wine shop to recommend a bottle. The short ingredient list means each element strongly influences the final drink, so Ms. Cordero suggests picking a bottle you’re willing to have on its own.
Pour your chosen (and preferably chilled) tinto over ice, then cut the wine with a citrus-forward soda to brighten and add effervescence. In Spain, La Casera, a citrusy soda so pervasive that it is simply referred to as “gaseosa,” or “soda” in Spanish, is the soft drink of choice. But, if you can’t get your hands on some, use another lemon-forward soda, such as 7Up or Sprite, cutting it with a splash of soda water to counter any surfeit sweetness.
These three ingredients — wine, soda, ice — are all you need for a proper tinto de verano. But, that said, there’s plenty of room to play.
Add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice — or dare to make your own citrus simple syrup as in this recipe. Muddle lemon and lime peels with sugar and a pinch of salt, add fresh lemon juice, heat just enough to dissolve the sugar, and then set aside to steep. In about an hour, you have a sweet-tart syrup ready for your tinto de verano. Combine any extra with soda or tonic water for lemonade, add it to another cocktail recipe that calls for citrus and standard simple syrup such as a sherry margarita or Tuxedo Cobbler, or just keep it in the refrigerator for your next round of tintos de verano.
There’s even room to swap your tinto. Ms. Cordero suggests trying a dark rosé. (Call it a Rosado de Verano?) Should you prefer a drink that leans a bit rounder and more herbal, add sweet vermouth. Serve over ice in a wine glass, a small highball or a larger lowball — whatever you have on hand — or allow friends to pour their own according to their tastes.
However you choose to tinto, the end result is a light, refreshing cocktail ideal for hot weather drinking.