Ever mindful of that nasty boozy Brit abroad stereotype, I wrote this post about Spanish drinking rules a while back and was delighted when the editorial team at The Spain Scoop said they wanted to publish it. I’d originally had the idea when I went to visit my familia política (in-laws) alone in October last year: I was in Spain for the first time without Carlos as a buffer, and while I was patting myself on the back for my dazzling language skills after a sweet old lady at the train station asked me how long I’d been living in Spain, I was still acting like a silly foreigner who didn’t know that it wasn’t the done thing to drink a gin and tonic before dinner. I learned plenty about Spanish culture during that trip. And so, a blog post was born.
Here’s what I wrote:
“No, no, no,” my mother-in-law tutted as I tried to order a vermut in the evening. Eso es para antes de comer. That’s for before lunch, silly!
How was I to know? Growing up in the UK, there were only two rules about what you could drink and when: the first being that beer was OK at lunchtime if you didn’t have a lot on in the afternoon, and the second being that pretty much anything was fine to drink after 5pm. Clearly, when it came to drinking in Spain, I had a lot to learn.
So to save you my embarrassment while drinking with Spaniards, I’ve written this simple guide. Let’s start with the morning. In Spain, it’s morning until you’ve had your lunch, which might not be until 2 or even 3pm. While drinking at breakfast definitely isn’t encouraged, my father-in-law has been known to drink a glass of red wine with a steak he’s cooked himself mid-morning as a treat when he’s not working.
Want to read more? Head over to the full post on The Spain Scoop.