If you’re anything like me, you live outdoors all summer long, regardless of the triple digits! To be clear, when I say live outdoors I mean in the pool, misters on and an endless cold drink in my hand, and my go to drink is usually Sangria.
Sangria is ubiquitous around the world, and most believe it all started in Spain as far back as medieval time. We know that water back then wasn't just unsavory, it was actually too dangerous for human consumption, making wine a go-to drink of choice for people of all ages and social classes. While the alcohol in wine was used to stave off any residual bacteria, nothing said that a beverage couldn’t be created that actually tasted good as well. Based on whatever happened to be in season, peasants and the wealthy alike would add harvested fruits, berries and spices to ferment with their wine and created hippocras, sangria’s predecessor, for a lively final product that constantly had a different and unique flavor to it. This drink spread throughout Europe but became most popular in its original country of Spain due to the frequency of fresh fruits and grapes.
Typically, the Spanish mixture includes wine, sugar, juice, and fruit into a concoction that had some introductory spurts of popularity in the United States in the late 1800’s, it was drunk during the late colonial period, but then disappeared in the US for a while during the early 1900s, surviving only in big city Spanish restaurants. Then, at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, the Spain delegation featured the drink at their pavilion, and we’ve been enjoying this sweet or savory concoction ever since!
Tips for a great Sangria every time:
Start with wine you like to drink; only go ‘down’ in price/quality if you intend to serve a huge crowd and load it up with lots of sugar and fruit
Use less sugar than called for in every recipe, you can always add more.
Mix all ingredients and add fruit early for added flavor, but keep the batch cold so the fruit doesn’t wilt
Best served in a large bowl or decorative dispenser, keep cold but don’t add ice
Strain any fruit from left over Sangria; wine will keep in fridge for days and you can freeze the fruit and add to your individual glass
I always like to add a dash of lime soda water to the top of my sangria glass…refreshing!
Traditional Red Sangria
1 bottle of dry red wine, like Cab, Syrah or red blend
1 cup of orange liqueor (or soda/sparkling water)
2 apples, with skins, cut into chunks
1 cup of chunked pineapple
2 oranges, segments and cut into chunks
Sugar to taste
1 bottle dry white wine, like a Sauvignon Blank or Pinot Gris
1 cup peach schnapps (or soda)
1 orange, cut and cubed
2 peaches, cut and cubed
1 cup honeydew melon, cubed
Handful of white grapes and raspberries
Sugar to taste
1 bottle of dry white wine
1 cup of ginger liqueor (or ginger ale)
1 big handful of basil leaves, washed but not cut
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup of cantelope, diced
1 lemon, sliced thin in disks
Sugar to taste
Try rimming your wine glass with a little hot sauce and sugar for the ultimate Savory drink!