Across the nation each year on December 20, National Sangria Day is observed by enjoying a well-mixed sangria.
- Sangria is a beverage made with wine and sweetened with fresh fruit and fruit juices. Other ingredients can include herbs, spices, carbonation, and liquor.
- Sangria made with white wine is called Sangria Blanca.
- Sangria is a wine punch typical of Spain and Portugal, which is also consumed in Argentina and Uruguay.
- The name sangria comes from sangre, the Portuguese word for blood.
- Sangria was introduced to the United States when it was brought to the 1964 world’s fair in New York City by Alberto Heras.
- Mangria is a version of sangria created by comedian Adam Carolla. The recipe calls for 3 parts red wine, 1 part vodka, and 1 part orange juice.
- Over 2,000 years ago the Romans made their way through the Iberian Peninsula and planted vineyards along the way. As the water at that time was considered unsafe for drinking, it was common to fortify it with alcohol to kill off any bacteria.
- The first sangrias were likely heavily watered downmixes of wine, water, and herbs and spices. They’d add anything to kill off the bacteria in the water and to disguise the terrible table wine.
- The word Sangria has limited use on the labels in Europe. Since 2014, only sangria sold in Spain and Portugal can be labeled as Sangria. If it’s made elsewhere in Europe, for example, Germany then it must be labeled “German Sangria”.
- In 1736, British Gentleman’s Magazine mentions that a punch seller, in London, England, concocted a blood colored drink with the strong, fortified Madeira wine and called it Sangre. The origins point towards Spain, Portugal, and the Caribbean. So far, it makes sense…Madeira is a Portuguese wine. Over the next 20 years, the drink somehow developed the name Sangaree.
- Various versions pop up in recipe books of the 1800s, such as Jerry Thomas’ 1862 Bartender Guide or Miss Leslie’s 1840 Directions for Cookery
- Until 2008, the state of Virginia had declared the serving of Sangria as illegal as it violated the law that did not allow the wine to be mixed or beer to be mixed with spirits. Violators could be charged with hefty fines and nearly a year in jail.