Drink To A Happy Christmas With These Sparkling Spanish Phrases

Published on 22/12/2009 in Learning Spanish

Drink To A Happy Holiday With These Sparkling Spanish Phrases

The festive season is fast approaching and it's the time to eat, drink and be merry! The pleasures of la buena mesa were discussed in the previous article so this time, let's look at the world of drink. You're going to discover several ice-cool Spanish phrases sure to help you enjoy a very happy holiday wherever you may be in the Spanish-speaking world!

One of my very favorite ways to relax is to sit outside a café with a nice cold beer - una cerveza. If like me you prefer draught beer - de presión - just ask for una caña in Spain or una fría in Latin America. And if you're really parched and in need of a refreshing beer and lemonade shandy to quench your thirst, simply ask for una clara.

A very polite way to order your drink is to add "cuando pueda" - when you can, like this: Una caña por favor, cuando pueda.

It'll earn you a lot of respect because it shows you possess the much admired quality of "educado" and you'll be rewarded with excellent service too!

Perhaps you prefer to take a nice glass of wine when you relax? I'm sure you already know the Spanish words for red and white wine - vino tinto y vino blanco - but ordering rosé wine often catches out lots of gringos. Rosé wine in Spanish is el vino rosado y no es vino rosa so now you know! And you can order una botella, una media botella o un vaso. Wine can be very expensive in restaurants and a canny tip is to order the house wine - vino de la casa - as it will not only be cheaper but of surprisingly good quality in many places.

Coffee is very popular here in Spain and in Barcelona, the beautiful city where I am so very lucky to live, the locals enjoy un carajillo, which is un café pequeño con brandy, ron o güisqui. Although I've noticed that lots of chicas here prefer to add a good splash of Baileys instead. Talking of whisky, if you've invited some Spanish friends over for dinner, have a bottle or two of good whisky ready as it is a very popular drink with Spanish people.

If like me you enjoy the occasional bacardi and coke, then you need to know that the term "coke" isn't used so you can either ask for bacardi con coca-cola but better is to ask for a cuba libre.

Here's a very bubbly Spanish phrase for you. You're celebrating with friends and you'd like to propose a toast. Many non-native Spanish speakers will usually just say "salud". You're going to do a lot better than that! Check out this vibrant Spanish phrase so you can propose a toast in an authentic, traditional Spanish style and bask in the admiration you receive:

Quisiera hacer un brindis. ¡Salud, dinero y amor y el tiempo para gozarlos! - I'd like to propose a toast. Health, money and love and the time to enjoy them!

When it's time for the final round of drinks, many guiris y gringos will say to el camarero o la camarera: la última por favor. This is fine but there's a really nice superstition that exists throughout the Spanish-speaking world concerning the final drink of the evening and it will win you bucket-loads of respect and many approving looks. In the Hispanic world, one's final drink - la última - is the one you will have just before you depart this mortal coil so it is better to simply say: la penúltima, your last but one and I think this is really sweet.

And if you've had a little too much to drink, you will wake up the next day with la resaca - an undertow - in Spain, la cruda - rawness - in Mexico, but in Venezuela, you will have el ratón en tu cabeza  - the mouse in your head - and I think this Spanish phrase is such a good way to describe a hangover! But if you say: "Tengo una resaca brutal", you will be understood wherever you're drinking bloody Marys for brunch!

Lots of great Streetwise Spanish phrases there to help you add punch to your spoken Spanish so you enjoy a very merry festive season but watch out for that mischievous little mouse!

Feliz navidad y feliz año nuevo,

Written by: P. Christian

About the author:

Barcelona-based writer Peter Christian is the author of the brand-new book "Streetwise Spanish". To discover how you can add an authentic flourish to your spoken Spanish along with practical insights into Hispanic culture, click here now




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