…a very responsible blog…catavino.net…[it's] refreshing to see such professionalism.
Robert M. Parker Jr.

Los Rebujitos: Mixed Drinks Traditionally Savored during the Andalusian Festival, Feria del Caballo

There’s a tradition in Andalucia for fairs – Ferias – in the spring and summer. The format is generally the same: The Feria lasts about a week; there are corridas (bullfights) in the afternoons; it’s held at a temporary “tent city”, usually on open ground near the edge of town; dancing the “Sevillana” (Sevillana video) is encouraged; women wear Flamenco dress and there are always horses and carriages, bright colours and music.

Feria is a time for the whole town or village to let down their hair and have some good old-fashioned fun. The ferias started off as horse or cattle markets where the dealers set up tents (casetas) to entertained clients with wine and dancing. They have kept the casetas, the drinking and the dancing, but there’s not much cattle and horse dealing these days.

Traditionally Fino (or Manzanilla) is THE drink at Feria, but after a long day drinking this, especially in the heat, it can go to the head a little, so one of the best ways to pass the time (and save your head) is to sit in the shade of a caseta (small house) with a jug of “Rebujito” nearby, watching the world go by. Rebujito? Yes, Rebujito. It’s probably been around for a long time (and had many guises), but this refreshing summer drink is definitely becoming a hit (and not only at Ferias).

Rebujito comes from the spanish word “arrebujar”, which means tangle, muddle or jumble. Basically just to mix something up, and that’s all this simple, thirst-quenching, cocktail is all about. Fino or Manzanilla sherry mixed up with lemonade, a lot of ice and served up in a tall glass. Spanish people are passionate about everything, so it’s no surprise that, even with its relatively short history, nearly all local bartenders have an opinion about the Rebujito recipe: Which fino or manzanilla to use, which lemonade, the proportions, how much ice, lemon garnish? One thing they all agree upon is the lemonade. It’s the clear and fizzy kind.

In Jerez, at the Feria del Caballo, the Rebujito is usually made in a jug with a half-bottle Tio Pepe and 7-Up. I’ve done a lot of Rebujito tasting and the ratio for me is 50/50, with lots of ice, but give this drink a go and experiment with the proportions to find your perfect mix. It’s pretty good with a bit of lemon garnish but the drink is just as satisfying without it. Let us know what you think…

Cheers,

Justin Roberts

Justin is our Sherry wine expert, currently living in Andalusia with his wife, Lucy, while spreading the good word about Shery vinegar.

  • Adrienne Smith

    Great article, but I have to say that the whole rebujito craze just offends me. I first went to Feria in Sevilla in 96 and it was manzanilla or fino and that´s it. Two years later a marketing genius for 7-up had plastered the Feria with posters advertising the rebujito – and the Feria has never been the same. Refreshing and less alcohol, yes, but I would argue that the excess in added sugar does a number on your head in the morning. I guess I´m just a purist, sigh, I just can´t stand to see old traditions die hard. For me it´s manzanilla all the way and a nice caldito with mint before bed.

    • Michael

      Rebujito – whether with manzanilla or fino – is usually made now with “gaseosa” which is a sugar-free type of lemonade sweetened artificially (sugared versions of gaseosa are rare!), so there is no risk of too much sugar!

      Just back from Seville and Jerez.

  • Dan Mihaliak

    I hope to visit Spain for a wine tour. thanks for the information!

  • Justin Roberts

    Thanks for the comments Adrienne and Dan. Sorry not to reply. I've been travelling through Galicia and northern Portugal. Today was spent trawling the Port lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia. I guess Rebujito was a bit of a departure from traditional Feria, but it's become a fixture. I suppose that's how traditions start…

  • Pingback: Learn Spanish with Lingus.tv » Blog Archive » Want to Add Pizazz to Your Next Holiday Party? Try Some Mixed Drinks of Spain()

  • Lindsay

    We live in the Alpujarras and Rebujito is made with fino and white wine and 7 up – anybody else tasted this? it is lovely and usually has a sprig of hierba buena too.