January 13, 2012 ·

Quench Your Thirst in Buenos Aires Hot Summer


Homer Simpson drinking from the tap

Buenos Aires has been on yellow heat alert, reaching 38°C – 40°C high almost everyday since last week! It’s the summer here and that’s why this is the season when most of the Argentine city dwellers go South to escape the extreme heat. For those who are still in the city, staying inside with the AC on might not be enough. You need something to hydrate and keep you cool from the inside out. Options are there, like the typical soft drinks, fruit juices, smoothies are getting popular here, iced coffee (have to give credit to Starbucks for kick-starting the trend here in BsAs) but iced tea has yet to catch on, and lastly, the ice cold beer.

I am not a beer drinker but realizing the line ‘una cerveza por favor‘ is very likely to be one of the very first things a Spanish beginner has perfected how to say other than ‘hola‘, I know for a lot of people, an ice cold beer is just the right refreshment on a hot Summer day. There are definitely a few more beer-ordering-related vocabulary you should know so you can go beyond ‘una cerveza por favor‘ and get specific:

porrón – most of the time it refers to the small bottle, or in a more general sense that the equivalent amount as in a small bottle is served but could be in glass/beer mug etc.
botella – this words mean ‘bottle’ and when it’s used, usually it’s referred to the big 1L one.
una jarra – a pitcher
el chopp/pinta – they both mean a pint
cerveza tirada – beer on tap. Ask ‘¿Qué cervezas tiradas tenés?’ when you want to know what are available on tap.
cerveza artesanal – the words literally mean hand-made beer, but it is what we call micro brew in English
Most importantly, if the beer is not cold enough (big problem!), then you can say ‘La cerveza no está suficientemente fría.

Now, you should arm with enough vocab to get what you want. Drink moderately and stay cool!


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