San Sebastian bars and restaurants have a drink to suite you, whatever your predilections, and whatever the occasion. Following such wonderful indulgence, we recommend you start the following day with a rich, creamy cafe con leche and a fresh beachside walk.
Gin & tonic
San Sebastian is famous for its unique 'gin tonic'. The famous Gintoneria Donostiarra, in Calle Zabaleta, has hundreds of types of gins to try, including both local and international varieties. The gins are blended with botanical sprays, fresh citrus zests, and fruit garnishes, to create the perfect customized drink with theatrical flourish. Whatever you choose you will be served with the greatest attention to detail – for instance, you can be served your gin tonic with a flurry of hibiscus petals.
If this sounds a bit fancy for your tastes, many other bars and restaurants offer their unique gin tonics served in large, bowl-like glasses. For instance, have your g&t with a gourmet pintxo at Atari Gastroteka, or drink in style at the elegant Maria Christina Hotel.
Txakoli (pronounced Chackoli)
This very dry, lightly sparkling,young Basque white wine originates from the green hillsides around the lovely nearby village of Getaria (Gipuzcoa). The refreshing, light yellow-green wine is made from the Hondarribi Zuria grape, which is grown using a special system of trellises to maximise growth. The Getariako Txakolina was the first of the Basque wines to receive designation of origin status. It is a medium strength, distinctive wine that is based served chilled.
There are also red and rosé varieties. Normally served as an aperitif, this txakoli should be poured from on high to release its effervescence. This wine is the perfect accompaniment for tuna or anchovy dishes in the many Michelin Starred restaurants of San Sebastian.
From January to April, Basques celebrate their local cider, called sagardoa, meaning apple wine, which is served with as much relish as the French have for their new wines. This cider (or sidra in Castellano) is non-sparkling, and if you try it at one of the cider houses or sagardotegi in Basque you can drink an unlimited amount, straight from the barrel. At these traditional establishments, cider accompanies a meal that typically includes salted-cod omelette, t-bone steak, with quince jelly, cheese and walnuts for dessert. You can also drink the sargadoga at other bars and from bottles. In any case, it is a unique and must-try experience.
You will have heard of this wine-growing region. What you may not know is that some Rioja comes from the Basque province of Álava. Dating back to the Phoenicians, this wine has an excellent lineage. The red (tinto) variety makes use of Tempranillo, Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, and Mazuelo grapes. These are grown in the vineyards in Rioja Alavesa which are at the foothills of the Sierra de Toloño Mountains. The vinyards in this region use a special carbonic maceration process that is said to produce wine that is 'soft and fruity'. Try it and see.
You can book your trip to the Rioja bodegas, or a pintxo and cider tour, with Far Out Inn. For villa and B&B services within walking distance of San Sebastian's bars, and on the beautiful La Concha beach, get in touch with Far Out Inn today.