9 Useful Words For Ordering a Drink in Spain

This blog post was originally posted on March 18, 2015, and was updated on September 24, 2017.

Having your basic vocabulary down in a foreign country is key. And if you’re a foodie like us, you have your priorities! Here’s your guide to ordering a drink in Spain.

Coming to Spain? Make sure you study your basic necessity vocabulary, like how to order a drink at restaurants and bars! Here are 9 useful words for ordering a drink in Spain.

Una Caña

We drink a lot of beer in Spain. In fact, despite being one of the top wine producers in the world, we still manage to drink a lot more beer than fermented grape juice. One word you will hear everywhere when traveling around Spain is una caña, or a small draft beer—usually around 200 ml. Futhermore, the genius behind this is that your beer will always be extra cold. But, if you’re extra thirsty, ask for un doble. When it comes to ordering a drink in Spain, this is one word you won’t want to forget!

Una Mediana

Not in the mood for a draft beer? Get a mediana, a bottled beer. This is also referred to as un tercio, a third of a liter. Many Spaniards opt for bottled beers as the night draws on. Which is a good idea as these are harder to spill in a crowded bar!

Un Botellín

Also known as un quinto, a fifth of a liter—these little bottles of beer are the cutest! And also practical, too, during the hot days of summer.

Una Cerveza Sin

A beer without is the literal meaning of this cool alternative drink. It refers to a beer with no alcohol, simple as that!

Una Clara

They say this is becoming popular in North America, but it’s something that has long existed in Spain. It is a beer mixed with lemon soda or lemonade. It is also a refreshing, delicious and the perfect pre-lunch drink as it won’t leave you hazy. Order it muy clara if you’d prefer more lemon than beer.

Un Chupito

This word is used in a few different situations, whether it be after dinner when you’re offered a chupito of some liquor, usually on the house, or at a rowdy bar when a round of chupitos is, for whatever reason, a necessary choice. The word means shot so when ordering a drink in Spain, use it at your discretion!

Vino Tinto

You may know your colors in Spanish, but they aren’t going to do you any good when ordering red wine. Of course, bartenders and waiters will understand un vino rojo, por favor, but the correct way to say it is actually vino tinto. And when in Barcelona, you can try your hand at Catalan with a bit of vi negre, red wine is actually black in the local language! Of course one special wine, a fortified wine is one of our favorites. Vermouth is unmissable while visiting Barcelona. Join our lovely guide Victoria as she tells you how to enjoy it like a local.

Tinto de Verano

Sangria is great, but you will find that a lot of locals are drinking something called tinto de verano, which is red wine mixed with soda. Probably not your nicest wine, but it sure goes down well!

Una Copa

copa can refer to many different things. As far as ordering a drink in Spain goes, una copa de vino is a glass of wine, and un bar de copas is a cocktail or mixed drink bar. If you go out for una copa, it usually means you will go have a mixed drink, such as a rum and cola or a gin-tonic. It’s important to note, it’s not called a gin and tonic!

For more local tips over drinks and lots of delicious food, join us on a food tour! Our local guides are expert in all things Barcelona and Spain, and are enthusiastic about showing people all about the culture, lifestyle and of course food of their city! 

8 Comment

  1. Andreu says
    April 6, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I normally use Catalan to order my drinks and maybe there is a difference, unlikely but possible. Anyway, in case anyone finds it interesting: a clara, at least in Catalan, is supposed to be beer and lemonade. Not that it makes a big difference, in the end if you go to the bar round the corner you might just get some watery lemonade with gas (e.g. fanta lemon), but theoretically (optimot) Clara designates precisely this and to me “clara con limón” sounds somewhat redundant. Maybe it’s just a Catalan thing 😉

    Let me also recommend Aigua de València.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agua_de_Valencia

    Reply
    1. Renée Christensen says
      April 15, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Hi Andreu! No you’re right…clara con limon does sound a bit redundant now that I’m actually imagining myself ordering one! It’s something that I am personally not a fan of, but it must be me because most people I know love them! Thanks for the comment, and we’ll save agua de valencia for a special cocktail post–stay tuned 🙂

      Reply
    2. Lauren says
      April 22, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Actually here in Madrid you can order a “clara con limón” or a “clara con casera”. If you don’t specify you’ll almost always be asked– “con casera o con limón”. Do you not use casera in Catalonia?

      Reply
      1. Andreu says
        August 29, 2015 at 2:48 pm

        Hi Lauren,

        I don’t think beer with “gasosa” is very popular in Catalonia, we wouldn’t call it a “clara” I don’t think.

        It’s funny in Spain they call it “casera” also, we’d call it simply “gasosa” in Catalonia and would translate it to “gaseosa” in Spanish. I guess “La Casera” is a popular brand and hence the name…

        Everytime I ask for “una clara, sisplau” I get beer with lemonade. If it’s a fancy place I might get some real lemonade, otherwise I just get beer with Fanta, Seven Up…

        Reply
        1. Tony Diaz says
          February 17, 2018 at 5:37 am

          So my exp in Mataro, esp was that in A Clara would normally get you beer and lemon fanta, but if you specify you could get orange fanta. Camera was a sweet bubbly adder that they typically added to red wine.

          Reply
          1. Katie Stearns says
            February 19, 2018 at 6:55 pm

            Ah, a clara con limón, so refreshing!

  2. Al L. says
    September 13, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    I reckon una clara is quite similar to the Bavarian [German] “Radler”.

    Reply
    1. Devour Barcelona says
      November 9, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      Exactly! We love them here, or in Germany, or anywhere!

      Reply

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