The Teetotal Guide to Drinking in Spain

By Catherine McCulloch

It may be your annual excuse to let your hair down, but holidays can still be lots of fun when you're not drinking to excess every night. And what's more refreshing than waking up bright eyed and hangover free so you can enjoy each and every day to the fullest?

Not only will you save money, but you're less likely to pile on the pounds after your holiday as you won't be sipping on empty calories and as alcohol makes you hungry, you'll also eat less. You'll also have much more energy generally too.

Known for its rich red wine, bubbly cava and of course, sangria, the country also has a selection of alcohol-free drinks to sample. Horchata, made of tiger nuts, sugar and water, is a popular choice indigenous to the Valencia region. Or try leche merenada, a mixture of milk, citrus, egg whites and of course sugar and cinnamon to give it a kick. Mosto is a full-bodied red or white grape juice is served cold with or without ice. With mountains and natural springs plentiful across the country, sparkling water, or agua con gas, is a good choice when you're choosing the alcohol free route. There are many brands to choose from but Spain's most famous, Vichy Catalan, is naturally sparkling with a high mineral content and a distinctive taste.

With a variety of fruit juices on hand, the Spaniards are keen on their zumos with the most popular flavours including orange, peach and pineapple. If you'd rather something more reminiscent of your favourite cocktails, there are plenty of virgin ones on offer too.

And then there's alcohol-free beer, which is readily available at most bars and restaurants due to the strict drinking and driving laws throughout the country which called for a zero tolerance policy earlier this year. In Spain they call it 'cerveza sin'.

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