By Shaun Fraser
Wherever you go in Costa Blanca, there is no better way to unwind than with a drink in hand, lounging by the pool outside your Spanish villa or sitting on the balcony of your rental apartment. Without a hotel menu to limit your options, you have a wealth of drinks to choose from. By mixing up your own concoctions, you can save money too.
If you want to try some authentic flavours of the Costa Blanca, here are a few local drinks that you can buy or make yourself:
Image by vreimunde, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)
Wine in Costa Blanca
Spain is famous for its wines, and winemaking in the Alicante province on Costa Blanca started as far back as the 16th century. Vineyards near the coast tend to grow the Moscatel grape, which is used to produce dessert wines. Moscatel de Alicante is a favourite choice, and this is definitely one to enjoy after dinner if you have a sweet tooth.
Further inland in Alicante, red wine production is more common, but you’ll also find lots of locally made rosé. Whether your holiday in Costa Blanca is long or short, make sure you leave time to try the many fantastic wines on offer.
Image by quinn.anya, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY SA 2.0)
Beer in Costa Blanca
In Costa Blanca, beer tends to be overshadowed by the high quality wine production, but beer drinkers shouldn’t despair. You’ll find all the favourite Spanish brands in supermarkets, like San Miguel and Estrella Damm. As you sip a pint in your Costa Blanca villa, you can enjoy the flavours of a familiar brand in its birthplace.
However, there are also some impressive craft beers on offer if you know where to look. Xabiga ale is brewed in Javea, in northern Costa Blanca. With undertones of fruit and caramel, this brew is a hit with locals and travellers alike.
In Altea, just a stone’s throw from Benidorm, you’ll find the Althaia Artesana brewery. The Blonde Ale and Brown Ale produced here are must-try drinks for any beer lover.
This is a little different to other Spanish wines, and is definitely worth trying even if you’re not usually a wine drinker. Fondillón is a sweet wine made from Monastell grapes, which are left to overripen before being picked. It ages in barrels for six years before being bottled, turning from deep red to an amber colour, similar to Sherry.
Fondillón is difficult to find outside the Alicante region, so be sure to buy a bottle – or several. Back in your holiday rental, you can sip on this delicious, sweet drink in the peace and privacy of familiar surroundings.
No trip to Spain is complete without enjoying some of this world-famous fruity wine-based punch. Best of all, you can make it in the kitchen of your villa or apartment, and tailor it exactly to your own taste. Strong, sweet, or both, it’s completely up to you.
Rioja is the wine most often used in sangria, but any Spanish red will do the job. Fresh sliced fruit is a must, in addition to a combination of sparkling water, lemonade, or fruit juice. You’ll find brandy in a lot of Spanish sangrias too. For the best drinking experience, serve chilled. This is the perfect way to cool down after a long day in the Costa Blanca sun!
Shaun Fraser is a former drinks rep, who now focuses on writing about his favourite tipples from Europe and beyond. He credits his good nose to a previous life as a sommelier.