Thursday, August 7, 2014


One of the most famous Spanish drinks is Sangria, and you can find it in pretty much any bar you go into in Spain. The word 'sangria' comes from the word 'sangre', meaning blood due to the dark red colour of the drink.

The history of sangria is quite a simple one. As the Romans were extending their empire through the Iberian Peninsula over 2000 years ago, they planted vineyards along the way. Due to the unsafe drinking water at the time it was common practice to fortify it with alcohol to make it ok to drink and kill off any bacteria. The first Sangrias are thought to have been a heavily watered down mix of water, wine, herbs and spices.
Modern day sangria is more of a wine/fruit punch. Usually made with a mixture if different fruits, wine and spirits. However there is no standard recipe for sangria in Spain, and you can find many different varieties of the drink, including versions with white wine or cava! Other popular variations of the drink include 'tinto de verano' (red wine, ice and lemonade or sweetened tonic water) and coming from the Basque region of Spain 'calimocho' or 'kalimotxo', which is basically a mixture of red wine and cola (it tastes a lot better than it sounds!)

Sangria is really easy to make, and a great addition to a party. Here is a simple recipe that I used a couple of weekends ago for a party:


  •        Fruit: I used apple, orange, peach and pineapple, but pretty much any fruit will do!
  •     Red Wine: We had a lot of people coming over, so brought 3 litres of red wine, you can alter the amounts of everything depending on the size of the sangria you want to make. The better quality the wine, the better quality the sangria, and the better your head will fell the day after.
  •          Soda water: use to dilute the drink a little and give it a bit of fizz.
  •         Sugar: many people use sugar to sweeten the drink a little, again this can be done to personal taste, I also heard that the more sugar you use, the more the alcohol affects you, and the worse the hangover is the next day! As an alternative to sugar you can use lemonade or fanta in place of the soda water.
  •      Spirits: I used brandy and liquor 43, however a splash of most types of spirit will help to give your sangria a little bit of an extra kick! Common spirits used are rum, triple sec and brandy, or a combination of different ones!


  •          Cut the fruit into small to medium sized pieces and place in a bowl
  •          add the wine, spirits and sugar to the bowl and stir the mixture together (use as much or as little spirit as you like)
  •          leave in the fridge for 24 hours for the flavours of the fruit to mix with the alcohol and wine
  •          before serving, add ice and the soda water
  •          enjoy!

There are now many different versions of sangria across Spain, and even the world. Have a look here  for some recipe ideas such as white wine peach sangria and watermelon sangria. I hope you enjoy your sangria experience and make a great summer drink!

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