It’s Sangria Season! Those fun-loving Spaniards know how to beat the heat.
Sangria wasn’t always a party drink. A few thousand years ago, Roman soldiers marched through the Iberian peninsula–later to be called Spain–planting vineyards along the way. It seems that water wasn’t safe to drink in those days, so adding wine killed off germs and contaminants. Stir in a few herbs and spices for flavoring…and a national beverage was born.
Fast forward to 1964, the New York World Fair. Spain decided to serve sangria at its pavilion and Americans go wild for the cold fruity drink. Like most traditions, there are as many recipes as there are people making them. And each one is delicious.
Enough history–let’s get mixing! All recipes are easy to double or triple.
- 1 bottle red wine–use an inexpensive wine. Save the good stuff for another day.
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/2 cup triple sec
- 1/2 cup frozen lemonade concentrate
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup sugar, if you like a sweet sangria
Stir everything together. Add sliced fruit, depending on what’s in season and what you prefer:
Refrigerate till cold. Overnight is even better. When serving, add some club soda, lemon-lime soda, or ginger ale. Makes it fizzy and reduces the alcohol content. Toss in ice, or not…your call.
Sangria gets its name from the word sangre, meaning blood, because of its dark red color. Red wine was the only option back then. Times have changed and now we have white wine, including cava, the Spanish sparkling wine.
- 1 bottle white or sparkling wine. Don’t use an oaky chardonnay. Riesling is nice.
- 1/2 cup peach schnapps
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or triple sec
- 1/4 cup sugar, if you want
Add sliced summer or tropical fruit, along with some orange slices:
- peaches or nectarines
Mix and refrigerate, at least a couple of hours. When you’re ready to serve, add club soda, lemon-lime, or ginger ale. Garnish with mint or basil, if you like.
Some of my favorite foods come from Spain. Here are a couple more recipes: