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.
- The combinations are endless, giving sangria a place at in the cocktail rotation year round. Refreshing and light during hot summer months, bright and sparkling during the winter ones, this fruity punch is quite versatile.
- Sangria made with white wine is called Sangria Blanca.
- Use fresh fruit in season for the best flavors. Once mixed, sangria should be chilled and the fruits allowed to marinate a few hours or overnight.
- Sangria is a wine punch typical of Spain and Portugal, which is also consumed in Argentina and Uruguay.
- This spiked punch usually mixes in red wine, simple syrup, a few drops of brandy and chopped fruit. The wine can be any inexpensive type that is light, dry and young, but red is preferred.
- The name sangria comes from sangre, the Portuguese word for blood.
- Although sangria was originally made with Rioja wine, you can use just about any dry red wine. Other good choices include Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, and Sangiovese.
- 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.
- The history of sangria is pretty straightforward. Over 2,000 years ago the Romans made their way through the Iberian Peninsula and planted vineyards along the way. As 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 (whose name comes from sangre, or blood, and refers to its dark color) were likely heavily watered down mixes 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 is Europe, for example, Germany, then is 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 1800’s, such as Jerry Thomas’ 1862 Bartender Guide or Miss Leslie’s 1840 Directions for Cookery (choose link Domestic Liquor) to find: Sangaree: Mix in a pitcher or in tumblers one-third of wine, ale, or porter, with two-thirds of water either warm or cold. Stir in sufficient loaf-sugar to sweeten it, and grate some nutmeg into it.