When you come to San Sebastian for a few days, the normal thing is that you go to eat pintxos, and the normal thing when you go to eat pintxos in Donosti is to see people drinking beer. And you’ll see that there’s people drinking beer from a big full cider glass and other people that drink it from a smaller glass or from that same big cider glass half filled. The first one is a caña, the second one a zurito. And the zurito is the foundational basis and the backbone of San Sebastian’s bar crawling.
A zurito is the proper beer quantity to go and eat pintxos. It doesn’t get you full, it is fast to drink and it also helps the food go down. For beer lovers this is the perfect accompaniment for the pintxos.
The name zurito appears in the 60s, the golden age of the txikiteros, groups of friends that spent the midday and the evening going from bar to bar drinking wine. At the time, the served wine wasn’t very good, so a member of one of these groups decided to start drinking beer, but in a txikito glass, a small size glass. This group of friends belonged to the Zurito bull-fighting club, that honoured Córdoba’s matador Gabriel de la Haba, also known as Zurito de Córdoba.
Long story short, the beer drinker started to be called Zurito because of him belonging to this club and in consequence the drink was also called like that. The thing is nowadays the zurito is not exclusive only to San Sebastian, as the word has spread all over the Basque Country and you can ask for zuritos even in La Rioja. So now you know, if you come around here and you want some beer with your pintxo, or want something quick, ask for a zurito and feel like another donostiarra!