What is a Sangria?

Sangria is a tasty and cool mixed drink that originally came from Spain and Portugal.

glasses of white sangria and red sangria with fruit and ice

This drink is usually made with either red or white wine, along with fruit and other things like brandy, triple sec, or soda water. Sangria is a popular drink that is often enjoyed at parties and social events. It is commonly associated with summertime drinking traditions in various places around the globe.

The beginning of sangria is not certain, but people think it started in Spain around the 18th century. The drink was probably made to make wine taste better because adding fruits and other things helped hide the not-so-good taste of inexpensive wine. As time passed, sangria became more well-liked and was later sent to other places around the world. There, it changed in many ways and developed various versions and styles.

Nowadays, people from all over the world enjoy drinking sangria and it is often associated with summertime and taking it easy. Whether you like the traditional red wine version or a new and different twist on the recipe, sangria is a flexible and tasty cocktail that is guaranteed to satisfy any group of people.

History and Origin

Sangria is a popular alcoholic beverage that originated in Spain and Portugal. The word “sangria” means “bloodletting” in Spanish and Portuguese.

Glasses of Sangria With White Wine, Apples, Pears, and Cinnamon: Fall sangria flavored with fruit, bourbon, and maple syrup

The term “sangria” used for the drink can be traced back to the 18th century. According to the SAGE Encyclopedia of Alcohol, sangria’s origins “cannot be pinpointed exactly, but early versions were popular in Spain, Greece, and England.”

The first sangrias were likely heavily watered-down mixes of wine, water, herbs, and spices. The Romans would add anything to kill off the bacteria in the water and to disguise the terrible taste of the table wine.

Many food historians say that sangria was likely invented by Romans thousands of years ago when they conquered the Iberian Peninsula in 200 BC. At that point, Romans planted grapes and vineyards on Spanish territory. It is important to note that the Romans already had a drink made of wine, sugar, and spices called Hippocras.

In the 1700s and 1800s, a style of sangria was made in England and France using traditional French grapes. There were also white sangria, sparkling sangria, and sangria made with peaches. However, the traditional Spanish sangria is made with red wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and brandy or another spirit. Spanish wine is the most commonly used wine in the traditional recipe.

Today, sangria is enjoyed all over the world and has become a symbol of Spanish culture. It is served in restaurants, bars, and homes, and is often a staple at parties and gatherings.

Basic Ingredients of Sangria

Sangria is a refreshing and fruity wine-based beverage that originated in Spain. It is a perfect party drink and is often served during the summer months. While there is no one right way to make sangria, there are some basic ingredients that are essential to the drink. Here are the basic ingredients of sangria:

Wine Selection

Wine is the primary ingredient of sangria. Traditionally, red wine is used to make sangria. However, white wine can also be used.

glass of fresh sangria and bottle of red wine at bright bar counter

The best wine for sangria is one that is fruity and not too dry. A fruity Spanish red wine, such as Garnacha, is a popular choice for making sangria. For white wine, a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Grigio can be used.

Fruit Choices

Fruit is another essential ingredient of sangria. The fruit adds flavor and color to the drink. Some of the popular fruits used in sangria include oranges, apples, berries, lime, lemon, peaches, pears, strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, nectarines, cherries, and melon. The fruit can be sliced or chopped and added to the drink.

Sweeteners and Liquors

To sweeten the sangria, sugar or sweeteners such as honey or agave nectar can be added. Other sweeteners such as orange juice, lemonade, or soda can also be used. Liquors such as brandy, gin, rum, cognac, schnapps, or other spirits can be added to give the sangria an extra kick. It is important to note that the amount of liquor added to the sangria should be moderate.

Variations of Sangria

Sangria is a popular wine punch that originated in Spain and has since spread throughout the world. It typically consists of red wine, chopped fruit, and a sweetener. However, there are many variations of sangria that use different types of wine, fruit, and additional ingredients. In this section, we will discuss the most common variations of sangria.

Red Sangria

Red sangria is the most traditional and popular type of sangria. It is made with red wine, typically a dry Spanish wine, and chopped fruit such as oranges, lemons, and apples.

classic red sangria in a pitcher with glasses

Some variations of red sangria may also include brandy, triple sec, or other liqueurs for added flavor. Sweeteners such as sugar or simple syrup can also be added to taste.

White Sangria

White sangria is a lighter and more refreshing alternative to red sangria. It is made with white wine, often a crisp and fruity Spanish wine like Albariño or Verdejo, and chopped fruit such as peaches, strawberries, and pineapple. White sangria may also include additional ingredients like ginger ale or sparkling water for added fizziness. Sweeteners such as honey or agave syrup can be added to taste.

Rosé Sangria

Rosé sangria is a new twist on the classic sangria recipe. It is made with rosé wine, which gives it a lighter and fruitier flavor than traditional red sangria. Rosé sangria typically includes chopped fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, and peaches, as well as additional ingredients like elderflower liqueur or grapefruit juice.

Cava Sangria

Cava sangria is a sparkling wine punch that is perfect for celebrations and special occasions. It is made with cava, a Spanish sparkling wine, and chopped fruit such as oranges, lemons, and strawberries. Cava sangria may also include additional ingredients like brandy or triple sec for added flavor.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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