Have a Drink: Sangria


Sangria cocktails date back to at least the 1700s

Sangria can make for a sunny weekend diversion for those red wine lovers out there. Clearly Spanish in origin, and especially popular in Barcelona, the wine and brandy-based cocktail has become a worldwide hit. Sangria comes from the Spanish word “sangre” for blood, since wine is often connotated with blood in religious doctrine and in appearance.

Rather than sophistication as many presumptuous wine snobs prefer as they front and preen socially, this recipe is all about enjoyment and refreshment. and is not for the snooth.

Here’s some broken history on Sangria.

The term sangria dates to the 18th century. Sangria’s origins “cannot be pinpointed exactly, but early versions were popular in Spain, Greece, and England.” Sangaree, a predecessor drink to sangria that was served either hot or cold, likely originated in the Caribbean, and from there was introduced to America, where it was common beginning in the American colonial era but “largely disappeared in the United States” by the early twentieth century. Sangria as an iced drink was reintroduced to the U.S. by the late 1940s through Hispanic Americans and Spanish restaurants, and came to greater popularity with the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.

So, how do you make one of these fruity concoctions? Here’s what you’ll need and how to mix all the ingredients.

  • 1/2 chopped apple
  • 1/2 sliced orange
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup Brandy
  • 1 bottle dry Spanish red wine (Tempranillo is a good choice)
  • Ice cubes (optional)

Add apples, oranges and sugar to a large pitcher and stir. Add orange juice and brandy and stir again. Add red wine and stir, then taste and adjust flavor to suit you. Serve with or without ice. (I prefer without ice.) You can garnish with orange slices as in the photo, but I usually prefer not to.

Cheese and crackers make for one of my favorite side dishes when drinking Sangria. As always, enjoy!

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