This beverage is usually enjoyed in the summertime in the United States, so why are we celebrating its intoxicating effects in the winter? To answer this question, we can turn to the origin of this widely popular concoction. “Sangria” is derived from the Spanish word “sangre” meaning blood, likely due to the beverage’s usual crimson color. In Spain and most other Spanish-speaking countries, where the beverage as we know it today first gained popularity, sangria is enjoyed year-round. The drink was first introduced to America in 1964 during the World’s Fair in New York.
The key to making a delicious sangria punch lies in the fruit. It’s important to use fruits that are in season, and to let the fruit marinate for several hours so your sangria will have an optimal flavor. The most commonly used spirit in sangria is brandy, but any of your favorite liquors may be substituted, depending on the flavor and how alcoholic you would like your sangria to be. Some sangria lovers opt for adding in soda water for carbonation. Sangria blanca is sangria made using white wine and complementing fruits rather than the standard red wine.
Since sangria involves many different ingredients and is often made in large batches meant for sharing, it’s a great drink to make for holiday parties or get-togethers with family and friends. Check out the following recipes we’ve found, and whip up a batch to enjoy with your loved ones!
- 1 cup brandy
- 1 orange (ends cut off), thinly sliced
- 1 red apple, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 bottles well-chilled dry red wine, such as Rioja or red Zinfandel
- 1 cup club soda
- 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
In a large pitcher, stir together brandy, orange and apple slices. Let stand 15 minutes. Add wine, club soda, and orange juice. Serve over ice.
- 2 bottles Zinfandel
- 2 lemons, sliced
- 2 limes, sliced
- 1 orange, sliced
- 8 oz. Orange juice
- 8 oz. Cranberry juice
- 12 oz simple syrup
- 1/2 bottle Cava
- Cranberries (optional)
Muddle fruit, then combine all ingredients except Cava. Mix in the Cava at the end and serve in a wine glass over ice, garnished with cranberries.
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 shots Calvados or other apple liquor
- 1 lime, sliced
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 2 ripe peaches, cut into wedges
- 3 ripe green apples seeded and cut into wedges
- 1 bottle white Rioja Spanish wine or other dry white wine
- 1 pint raspberries
- Sparkling soda water, for topping off glasses of sangria at table
Combine sugar, Calvados, lime, lemon, peaches and apples in a large pitcher. Cover with 1 bottle of Rioja wine and chill sangria several hours. To serve, spoon fruits into glasses or goblets, adding a few fresh raspberries in each glass, pour wine over top of the fruit. Top glasses of sangria off with a splash of soda water and serve.