IT’S getting hotter.

I whined a little about the winter, but the combination of rain and the lack of indoor heating was a big change from the dry, snowy cold I’m used to – not to mention central heating in every home, school and place of business.

Now, it’s warming up quickly.

My friends and neighbors keep telling me it’s still very nice, to just wait until June, July and August when it’s really hot.

Spending time wandering through Cordoba city this past weekend made me wonder how hot it’s going to get.

Luckily for me, Spain has built a culture adapted to this heat and the ubiquitous plazas with their bars and restaurants give ample opportunity to cool down. Not only are they cooler on the inside, but the drinks here are cold and delicious.

Spaniards have high standards for how cold their beer must be and it more than exceeds my recent-college-graduate American standards.

My new favorite summer drink here, though, is ‘tinto de verano’ – iced red wine mixed with a little lemon soda. Costing only a few cents more than the typical cerveza, it’s a simple sangria-type drink whose refreshing citrus flavor is the perfect solution to a hot summer (or spring) afternoon.

My Scandinavian genes make it easier for me to enjoy the cold weather, but with the options for enjoying the heat here in Spain, I could get used to this climate in no time.