Sundays in Spain

I spent many days thinking how a Spanish Sunday looks like, but there are so many traditions that it is impossible to find one that will apply to all Spanish population. Therefore, I’m just going to talk about something I know very well: a typical Sunday in my family.

Sunday’s lunch may start around 15:00

To be able to survive until then, in Catalonia it is absolutely mandatory to gather around midday to “hacer el vermut”, which basically means to have an aperitif and eat a snack before lunch. You are also very likely to discuss about politics, the price of sardines, or both. catalan_vermut Once vermut time is over, Catalan mums go back to their kitchens and start getting everything ready for the lunch. On the top of the list of my family’s Sunday meals you will inevitably find paella, while Cava (Catalan sparkling wine) is the ultimate lunch drink on Sundays. Lunch officially starts when the food gets to the table and you hear the first bottle of Cava popping (that is also when you realize that you are going to be stuck there for the rest of the day). spanish_paella After lots of food, drinks and coffee, exactly in that precious moment when you think that lunch is about to end… a bunch of random people (friends, uncles, neighbours, etc.) will show up for “coffee” and then everything starts over again with a second round of food, drinks and coffee. That’s what I call a Sunday well spent. spanish_lunch

Are you ready to give it a try?

Next Sunday, fill up your fridge/cellar and invite your friends and family for a true catalan family experience. You just have to lock them inside your apartment and follow everything mentioned above. Remember to respect these basic rules:
  • Wait that all guests are seated before starting to eat. However, there is no need to wait that everybody has been served.
  • All participants need to give their opinion about the food, saying nothing is considered more rude than saying that the food did not taste good.
  • It is not polite to leave before the host gets up from the table.
  • Female hosts are usually in charge of serving the guests, they are also supposed to ask every 10 minutes whether you want more food.
  • Male hosts are in charge to make sure that no one is thirsty and that your glasses get “cleaned” properly with some liqueur.
  • Talk a lot and louder than usual (or alternatively have the first season of Serranon perhe playing on the background).
All you need now is a very typical summer drink, which goes well with vermut, lunch, tapas… it can even be served in weddings. I’m talking about the Sangria de Cava, which is like the well-known Sangria but for locals. The main idea is to replace the wine with cava, making it much more glamorous than what I call tourist-Sangria.

Sangria de cava (serves 4)



  • 1 bottle of cava brut (or any other dry sparkling wine)
  • 0.5 dl of orange liqueur (such as Cointreau)
  • 0.5 dl of gin (optional)
  • 4 dl of fresh orange juice
  • 1 dl of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs of sugar (very optional)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 peach
  • 4 strawberries
  • Lots of ice
  • 1,5 l glass jar for serving


Put all ingredients in the fridge few hours before making the sangria, it is extremely important that Sangria is served very cold. Pour the freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice into the glass jar. You can strain the juice if you wish to remove the pulp. Mix the sugar with the juice if you like your sangria to be rather sweet. Clean the rest of the fruits you are going to use. Peel and cut the peach and the orange into cubes, put them in the jar. Cut the strawberries in half, put them in the jar. (If you feel adventurous you can substitute the peach and strawberries for other fruits, as long as they are not blueberries… I know Finns love to put blueberries on everything but if you do so the sangria de cava will loose its distinctive bright colour, I’m not saying it will taste bad though). Now pour the cava slowly so that does not make too much foam. Add the ice, serve immediately and enjoy!

Alba Bordes Sola

Alba is a Spanish girl living in Helsinki. During the day she is an interaction designer, but at nights she becomes a handcrafter, baking director and gelato lover.

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