On Erasmus you will do things you wouldn’t do back home: you’ll learn how to swear in 12 different countries’, or party all night long on a beach, you’ll eat foods you never tried and drink things you may regret in the morning. Anybody who’s been on Erasmus can tell you that. Like every other Erasmus Madrid student, you’re expecting Sangria, cerveza, siestas and fiestas – right? Probably. But you might not be expecting these drinks:
Calimocho / Kalimoxo
There’s a dozen ways to spell this drink, but only one way to do it. It’s a half-half mixture of red wine and coca-cola. It’s cheap to buy and easy to make – what’s not to love? Which is why it’s a favourite with Spanish students on a budget. You can ask for it in nightclubs – it’s considered the Spanish Vodka-RedBull.
There aren’t a lot of drinks that I try once and refuse to drink twice. This one, however, isn’t for me. It’s not just that it’s practically unpronounceable for people (like us) who aren’t fluent in the language. It’s red wine and orange soda. Trying it once was more than enough, thank you very much!. If you don’t try this while you’re an Erasmus Madrid student, you’ll never try it.
Tinto de verano
A classy and typical kind of drink to enjoy in the sun! This mixture of red wine and lemonade is perfect if you want a glass at the end of the day to go with some tapas. It’s also many Madrillenos’ secret to surviving summer nights – but you’ll be arriving in September, you probably dodged that bullet!
Another popular “wine and soda” cocktail: this one uses white wine and 7-Up. Not as sweet as Calimocho. It’s a little lighter and less alcoholic. Think of it as a soft drink for adults.
Beer and lemon soda. Specialists say the mixer has to be the local brand, Casera. Another famous shandy (although not strictly Spanish) is the Tango, which is beer and gooseberry cordial.
Especially if you’re from one of the other southern European countries, mixing with wine may seem a little bit … controversial. Where I come from, it’s blasphemous. But they do it in Spain, and your Erasmus Madrid adventure is all about experimenting local customs! Remember: broadening your horizons isn’t a part of the Erasmus experience, it’s the whole point of it.
Everything else? All of the lifelong friends you meet, all of the fun and the languages you learn? They’re just really great bonuses.
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