A cocktail lover's guide to separatist Europe - Catalunya

Catalonians are watching the Scottish referendum very closely having had several referendums itself. The province, which already enjoys a fair level of autonomy, could very well call for another vote if the Scottish referendum is to go through. 

In terms of drinking, Catalunya is best known for its sparkling wine, cava. Produced primarily in the Penedes region of the province, as is much of Catalunya’s best known wine, cava must be fabricated following the champenoise method as done in the 1870s when what today is known as cava was produced based on Champagne traditions. Catalonians still refer to the drink as champan and champana but officially, it must be called cava as “champagne” can only refer to wine made in the Champagne region of France in the European Union. 


Be sure to check out the rest of our separatist Europe cocktails series:

Still, cava is arguably the most comparable wine to champagne in the sparkling wine category and has slowly growing in popularity as its price to quality ratio is often viewed as superior to that of Champagne.

The word “cava” means “cellar” or “cave” referring to the places where the wine was stored for aging. Cava ranges from dry to sweet and comes in white varieties or rosé which is accomplished by adding a touch of red wine. Cava can replace champagne in traditional champagne cocktails. 

A cave of cava

A cave of cava

Other liqueurs produced in Catalonia resemble drinks found in many Mediterranean countries such as ratafia and anis, the former made from aguardiente infused with fruits, herbs and spices. The most well-known version of Catalonian is Anis del Mono which is a protected trademark from the city of Badalona, just north of Barcelona on the Catalonian coast.

For an anis cocktail with a tip of the hat to separatist Scotland, try the Morning Glory Fizz.

  • 2oz Scotch
  • 1/2 tsp anis
  • freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • carbonated water

Shake all ingrediens, strain in a highball glass with ice, top up with the water, stir.

Ratafia complements cava very well. Just like a champagne cocktail, mix 4 parts cava with 1 part ratafia.  

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