What to drink with tapas

*Collaborative Post

Spain is the most popular holiday destination for Brits… and with good reason. Alongside the beautiful weather, balmy evenings and artistic flair, Spanish food never fails to please. Having become a firm favourite, holidaymakers have justifiably wanted to find a taste of Spanish cuisine back in Blighty.

Tapas is the most well-known of Spain’s edible exports. It’s a selection of small snack dishes which are meant to be consumed alongside alcohol. To get the best out of a tapas experience, you should choose your drinks carefully, as the wrong pairing can disrupt flavours.

So, what should you drink with tapas? Read on to find out.


Consumed year-round but especially refreshing in summer, beer is ideally suited to tapas.

But how do you choose among the different types of beers available?

  • Pale ales: These go well with spicy and aromatic flavours. With these often in abundance in Spanish cuisine, you’ll need some bottles of high-quality pale ale if you’re a tapas lover. Line some up before you sample your next bowl of patatas bravas.
  • Red ale: As these have notes of caramel, pair with fragrant and rich foods. Most tapas involving red meat will probably suit a red ale complement.
  • Brown ale: With a malty bitterness that could easily overpower, brown ale goes perfectly with pork ribs or seafood. Next time, try pairing it with gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp).

Spain is also renowned for its spectacular wine heritage, attracting students of oenology the world over. If you aren’t a budding sommelier, we have a few basic tips that should see you make the right choices.

Pair seafood dishes like paella with one of Spain’s many excellent white wine offerings.

For smokier tapas, like sauteed chorizo, select a Spanish red to deepen the flavour.


Who doesn’t love a cocktail with bar food?

Sangria is a popular and much-loved choice for its versatility and relatively easy-going flavour, given it’s often made with soft tempranillo as the base.

However, there are other options for easy drinking with tapas.

  • Cuba libre:  A cocktail of cola, lime juice, rum and a topping of ice to keep it all cool – perfect for hot summer days. This would go well with fragrant dishes and those involving heavy amounts of coriander, a vital herb in Spanish cooking.
  • Rebujito: A refreshing Andalusian drink mixed with sherry, citrus soda, mint and ice. As a milder drink, think about matching this to a chicken dish.
  • Kalimotxo: Simple but tasty, this is an equal mix of red wine and cola. Given it has so few ingredients, it’s good for those impatient mixologists.
You May Also Like