How to ask for a beer

CERVEZA” is the usual way to call a beer, but when someone orders it in a bar or restaurant in Madrid (or at any other place in Spain) there are different ways to do it depending if you wish to drink it in a bottle or in a glass/jar, depending on the size of the drink… There are some other ways to order beer at different parts of Spain, but at this post we will focus on the most typical from the city of Madrid.

When the local serves keg beer from a tap, the most typical is asking for a “caña” for a small one (about 20 centilitres), a “doble” (a bigger glass, about 33 cl.), or a “jarra” (a jar, about half a litre). Several years ago was really popular the “mini” (a litre aproximately), where a group of friends order it, usually cheaper because of the size, and they drink it together from the same glass. It is really popular as well the “clara” (known as Shandy in some other countries), that is a beer with lemon soda or with “gaseosa” (Spanish typical drink, it´s a carbonated and sweetened water soda, usually used to mix with wine as well to make “tinto de verano”).

If ordering a beer in bottles, the most usual are the “quinto” (called “botellín” as well) because is a 20 cl. bottle (“quinto” means  fifth, and 20 cl. is a fifth of a litre), and the “tercio” (33 cl., “tercio” means a third of a litre). Less common are the “cuarto” (25 cl., forth of a litre), and “litrona” (a litre) still popular on youngsters to drink “botellón” but not served in locals. There are options of non-alcoholic beers, usually ordered as “cerveza sin” or “cero-cero”. Regarding “clara”, some beer trades offer it in a “tercio” format already mixed with lemon soda, usually with the words “limón” or “shandy”.

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