Sangria is together with Flamenco, siesta , horario de verano , Tapas and Paella, one of the Spanish traditions that it is impossible to give up on a journey to discover the Iberian Peninsula. Wherever you go is, to date, the drink that leads every moment of sharing and joy. As a drink of fun, it quickly spread all over the world, starting the fashion of the Sangria Party: many friends, excellent ingredients and ... let the party begin!

The origins

The birth of this drink is uncertain: some believe that it came from the need of Portuguese and Spanish farmers, in 1800, to sip a cold drink, made from raw and home-made ingredients of the land of origin. Others, however, tell of when, in the 1700s, English sailors, who were forbidden to approach alcohol, invented an escamotage and created that mix of flavors and fragrances, with a typical red color, enriched with spices and fruits that takes well the similarities of a refreshing fruit juice, masking the scent and flavor of the main ingredient: wine.

What remains certain is that the name was given to him by the inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula, who attributed to him the profound meaning of the word sangre , or " blood ", which perfectly describes the passionate, sanguine character of the Spanish people.

Sangria based on red wine

There is no original recipe as there is no history of its origins, commonly accepted is that Sangria is an alcoholic drink based on tinted wine , or red wine. But a question mark always remains: which is the best wine to make the best Sangria ? Well, although many think that it is not fundamental being one of the many elements, it is necessary that the wine is of excellent quality . In fact, it must be a wine that gives character to the drink, which is not a secondary element but which has its strength within the cocktail. There are those who for this reason consider a full-bodied, intense wine with a high alcohol content more suitable and those who believe in young wines, fresh and low in tannins. Traditionalists, who want to maintain the Iberian character of the recipe, choose wines from the peninsula such as those based on Garnacha (or Alicante) or Rioja wines . But since the time of the Sangria "boom" each country has enjoyed looking for the best wine for its realization and, among many others, Italian wines such as Lambrusco, Aglianico, Cannonau, Primitivo di Manduria, Refosco seem to give a excellent result. For those who want to venture ... why not an Amarone della Valpolicella!

Other types of Sangria

Despite having traveled the world, Sangria, even in its different interpretations, remains in Spain: the white Sangria , which takes the name of Clarea , now very popular for summer aperitifs and for lovers of white wine, is typical of Catalonia . Just replace the red wine with a good white wine and in particular Rioja white wines are recommended but also an excellent Moscato d'Asti or a Chardonnay; as for rum, the Spaniards recommend replacing it for this case with Tiple Sec and Gin. But not only, on the streets of Barcelona, between bars and restaurants, we note how another variant of Sangria is spread, Sangria de Cava , in which Cava, the classic Catalan method sparkling wine, is replaced by traditional red wine. Prosecco or Franciacorta are excellent for a sparkling result characteristic of this variant. Some bartenders offer blue Sangria by allowing themselves to uncork a bottle of Champagne , coloring the cocktail with curaçao and decorating with berries. Others even created the Sanguiriña variant by adding cachaça or Sanguiroska with vodka.

Ingredients for Sangria

  • 2 bottles of wine
  • 2 peaches
  • 2 apples
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • cloves
  • sugar at will
  • Cognac, Gin, Triple Sec or Vermouth (optional)

How to prepare Sangria

Having ascertained the fact that a good bottle of wine is the solution for a good sangria, for what concerns the other characteristic ingredients of this drink, the imagination always pays!

Traditionally, peaches, apples, oranges and lemon are cut into wedges, to which the peel is maintained, so that it releases its aromas. But the advice is to adapt the cocktail to each month of the year using seasonal fruit . The spices, then, are the decoration and the perfume: cinnamon and cloves , but without exaggerating because they give off a strong aroma and risk masking that of wine! At this point it's time to add the sugar , depending on the harmony that the other elements have managed to create together, two or three spoons should suffice. If we talk about fantasy, some add Rum at the end , others Brandy, Gin, Triple Sec or Cognac : even in this case, however, it is good to fall back on quality products.

On one thing it is not possible to make a mistake: the Sangria must be served cold both in summer and in winter, for this reason the Spaniards prefer to also add some ice cubes. When serving, add the other fundamental "ingredient": the wooden ladle to collect the fruit, really can not miss!

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