December 27, 2022
Sangria is a light, refreshing summer time drink native to Spain. The base of this mixed alcoholic beverage is either red (traditionally), white or rose wine to which citrus fruits, brandy and orange liqueur are added. Though the traditional wine used in Spain is Rioja or Garnacha, Spaniards are fond of using inexpensive fruity wines. The alcohol content of this wine based punch varies between 4 to 12% ABV and can be consumed warm or cold. Dry and sweeter versions exist and are based on the ingredients used. The presence of polyphenols and antioxidants in red wine, vitamin C in citrus fruits makes Sangria a healthy beverage. Though the drink is of Spanish origin, it’s quite popular in Portugal, US, Greece, England and in other parts of the world.
The tempting ruby hue drink rose to fame during the World’s Fair held at New York in the year 1964-1965.Many associated Sangria with Spain as it appeared at the Spanish Pavilion and till date it stands as the pride of Spain.
Origin of the word
Many scholars claim that the word comes from ‘Sangre’ which means ‘blood’ in Spanish. There are few who disagrees with this as they firmly believe that the word has got Sanskrit origin through Urdu ‘sakkari’ that refers to sugared wine.’
Let’s do it the Spanish way
The Spaniards use either a pitcher or punch bowl for making Sangria. Fresh citrus fruits such as orange and lemon along with apple are cut into slices or dices. Cinnamon sticks and cloves (flavor) along with Spanish brandy and citrus liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier) are further added into the mixture. A bottle of fruity wine is poured in and the pitcher containing the mixture is refrigerated. Before serving, the glassware can be filled with ice cubes and a slice of any citrus fruit can be fixed to the rim as garnish.
For sweet Sangria, sugar and lemon flavoured aerated water can be added.
For dry Sangria, top up the drink with sparkling water or aerated water.
Addition of citrus fruit juices, syrups and berries are optional.
Sangria is regarded as a festive drink and is mainly associated with the Christmas season. As red wine goes with steaks, red wine based sangrias pair well with different steak preparations Variations of Sangria such as Christmas Sangria and Cranberry Sangria are quite popular.
What are you waiting for? Salud Sangria!