When it comes to traditional Spanish drinks, one that stands out for its unique flavor and refreshing qualities is Zurracapote. This delightful beverage has been enjoyed for centuries in Spain, particularly in the northern regions such as La Rioja and Navarra. In this article, we will explore the history, ingredients, preparation, and cultural significance of Zurracapote, as well as provide you with a step-by-step recipe to recreate this delicious drink at home.

The History of Zurracapote

Zurracapote has a long and fascinating history that dates back to ancient times. The word “Zurracapote” is derived from the Basque language, with “zurra” meaning “leather bag” and “capote” meaning “cape.” This name refers to the traditional way of serving the drink, which involved pouring it from a leather bag or wineskin.

The origins of Zurracapote can be traced back to the Roman Empire, where it was known as “mulsum.” Mulsum was a mixture of wine, honey, and spices that was popular among the Roman elite. Over time, this recipe evolved and spread throughout Europe, eventually reaching the Iberian Peninsula.

In Spain, Zurracapote became particularly popular in the northern regions, where the climate is ideal for growing the fruits and spices used in the recipe. It became a traditional drink during festivals and celebrations, and its popularity has endured to this day.

The Ingredients of Zurracapote

Zurracapote is made with a combination of red wine, fruit, sugar, and spices. The specific ingredients can vary depending on personal preferences and regional variations, but the following are the most common components:

  • Red Wine: The base of Zurracapote is red wine, preferably a young and fruity variety. The wine provides the rich and robust flavor that characterizes this drink.
  • Fruit: Zurracapote traditionally includes a variety of fruits, such as oranges, lemons, apples, and peaches. These fruits add a refreshing and citrusy note to the drink.
  • Sugar: To balance the acidity of the fruits and wine, sugar is added to sweeten the Zurracapote. The amount of sugar can be adjusted according to personal taste.
  • Spices: Zurracapote is infused with a combination of spices, including cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise. These spices add warmth and complexity to the drink.

The Preparation of Zurracapote

Now that we have explored the history and ingredients of Zurracapote, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of preparing this delightful drink:

  1. Start by washing and peeling the fruits. Cut them into small pieces, removing any seeds or pits.
  2. In a large pot, combine the red wine, fruits, sugar, and spices. Stir well to ensure that the sugar dissolves.
  3. Place the pot over medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  4. After 20 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let the Zurracapote cool to room temperature.
  5. Once cooled, strain the Zurracapote to remove any fruit solids and spices. This will result in a smooth and clear drink.
  6. Transfer the strained Zurracapote to a pitcher or individual glasses, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to further develop.
  7. When ready to serve, pour the chilled Zurracapote into glasses and garnish with a slice of orange or lemon.

Now that you have mastered the art of preparing Zurracapote, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy this delicious and refreshing drink.

The Cultural Significance of Zurracapote

Zurracapote holds a special place in Spanish culture, particularly in the regions where it originated. It is often associated with festive occasions, such as local festivals, weddings, and family gatherings. The drink is a symbol of celebration and conviviality, bringing people together to enjoy the flavors and traditions of their heritage.

Furthermore, Zurracapote is a testament to the rich agricultural traditions of Spain. The use of locally grown fruits and spices highlights the importance of seasonal and regional ingredients in Spanish cuisine. It is a drink that embodies the flavors and aromas of the land, connecting people to their cultural roots.


1. Can I use white wine instead of red wine for Zurracapote?

While red wine is the traditional base for Zurracapote, you can experiment with white wine if you prefer a lighter and fruitier flavor. Keep in mind that the choice of wine will significantly impact the taste of the final drink.

2. Can I add other fruits to Zurracapote?

Absolutely! Zurracapote is a versatile drink, and you can customize it to your liking. Feel free to add other fruits such as berries, pineapple, or even grapes to enhance the flavor profile.

3. Is Zurracapote an alcoholic drink?

Yes, Zurracapote contains alcohol due to the red wine used as its base. However, the alcohol content can vary depending on the specific wine and the amount consumed. It is always advisable to drink responsibly.

4. Can I serve Zurracapote warm?

While Zurracapote is typically served chilled, you can also enjoy it warm during the colder months. Simply heat the strained Zurracapote gently on the stovetop before serving, being careful not to let it boil.

5. How long can I store Zurracapote?

Zurracapote can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. However, it is best enjoyed fresh to fully savor its flavors and aromas.


Zurracapote is a traditional Spanish drink that combines red wine, fruits, sugar, and spices to create a refreshing and flavorful beverage. Its history dates back to ancient times, and it has become an integral part of Spanish culture, particularly in the northern regions. By following the simple recipe provided, you can recreate this delightful drink at home and experience a taste of Spain’s rich culinary heritage. So, gather your ingredients, prepare your Zurr


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