Sangria is loved by some but also opposed by purists because wine "does not mix with anything", as if an element as ancient as civilization feared marriage with the most beautiful fruits of the earth. And instead he didn't have the strength, which is that of the greats, to also be something else and - why not? – meet the taste of those who interpret wine in a cheerful, festive and convivial way. That conviviality is one of the most beautiful keys to wine. So let's see how sangria is made.
You say sangria and they immediately take pictures of parties, summer, friends and barbecues. Here are 13 questions and as many answers about sangria, including the recipe (at the end).
1. What is sangria?
It is a sweet, alcoholic drink of Iberian origin. Traditionally based on red wine, its recipe has been influenced by different regions and cultures, thus evolving over time. In Catalonia for example, the typical recipe is based on white wines or sparkling wines.
2. Why the name “sangria”?
Sangria comes from the Spanish sangre , due to its ruby color.
3. When did you start drinking sangria?
Sangria has an ancient origin : it comes from a taste that has been widespread since ancient times and which prefers intensely sugary wine. Therefore: fragrant, spicy wines, enriched by aromas such as cinnamon or clove. The Greeks' hippocras (wine mixed with spices, honey, sugar and whatever was edible and sweet was available) can be considered an ancestor of sangria .
But sangria was documented already before Christ also in the Iberian peninsula, where it later experienced a moment of oblivion (during the Arab domination, from 711 to 1492) to flourish again after 1492.
4. Why did people drink sangria in ancient times?
To make a wine more drinkable that on its own would have been too astringent, and probably also to cover the results of widespread oxidation.
Therefore the ancient reasons for sangria must certainly be sought partly in the general difficulty of conservation but above all in the cultural predilection for "constructed" foods and drinks , reinforced with treatments that affect colour, flavor and consistency.
5. What wines have traditionally been used to prepare sangria?
Traditionally, the drink was produced with tempranillo -based wines to obtain a fuller-bodied wine, and granacha -based wines to obtain a lighter drink. Already from the end of the eighteenth century, however, the English and French also began to produce it, varying the recipe. This is how the sparkling sangria was born, the white one, based on peaches...
6. Are there rules for marketing Sangria?
The sangria – sold with this denomination – must be produced in Spain or Portugal and have less than 12% alcoholic strength. For all other European Union countries, sangria must be marketed as a "flavored wine-based drink", with an indication of the state of origin.
7. What wine is sangria made with?
Whether you choose red wine or white wine, the result will be an explosion of freshness and flavours! Young and fruity wines are ideal, therefore without long aging in wood, but do not set limits in the preparation of the drink.
Among the reds, if you opt for Nero d'Avola, Dolcetto, Merlot, Montepulciano, Primitivo di Manduria you will obtain more alcoholic results , with strength and character.
For those who prefer more delicate alternatives : young Valpolicella, Lambrusco, red Tai, Cannonau, Alicante...
To make white sangria you can use a Pinot Grigio or a young Chardonnay.
Among the rosés , the excellent result is guaranteed: try a Bardolino Chiaretto, a Lagrein from Alto Adige, a Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo, a Rosato del Salento... for a light and elegant version.
For the version with bubbles , which gives an extra element of oomph, try a Cava, a Moscato d'Asti or a Prosecco.
- Read also: what to do with leftover wine
8. What fruit is sangria made with?
Again, let your creativity run wild! The traditional recipe calls for fruits such as apples, oranges, peaches, citrus fruits; spices such as cinnamon, vanilla and cloves, but you can indulge yourself with seasonal fruit or with that which is closest to the aromas of the wine used as a base, preferably organic. Berries, pears, currants, mint leaves, chilli pepper for a spicy version? The more you have, the more you have!
The important thing is that the fruit is fresh , ripe but not soft .
9. When do you drink sangria?
Sangria is particularly appreciated on hot days, for its freshness and great drinkability.
10. What foods does sangria pair with?
Staying on Iberian soil, try it with classic tapas, tortillas or paella.
In general, sangria is perfect for a rich and tasty aperitif : therefore it is perfect with finger food, sausages, tuna, appetizers, bruschetta, peanuts, with melted cheeses and other tasty foods.
11. What NOT to do when preparing sangria?
?Prepare the sangria to serve at the moment.
?Be shy with the ingredients: the key to pleasantness is given by the variety of fruit and spices used.
?Serve the sangria warm.
?Forget that sangria is alcoholic…
12. How long does sangria last?
Sangria can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days , taking care to remove the fruit after one day to avoid changes to the flavor and consistency.
13. How is sangria made?
There are many recipes and variations for making sangria: nothing leaves you free more than sangria. Everyone uses their favorite wine and the fruit they have available.
Here is a sangria recipe , truly within everyone's reach!
🍹Combine brandy, rum, gin or other spirits of your choice with some fruit liqueur and orange peels.
🍹Cut the fruit until you get small dice.
🍹Place the fruit cubes in a jug (large but of a size that fits in the refrigerator) and add wine, juice (of oranges and lemons), syrup, sugar (better if cane) and spices to taste. If you add chili pepper, remember to remove the seeds.
🍹Combine the spirits, having first removed the orange peels.
🍹Leave to rest in the refrigerator overnight. Even two hours will be fine, but they are the minimum to blend all the aromas and flavors together.
🍹Before serving, add soda and ice.
🍹Et voilà, the sangria is ready to be served!