How to make Sangria

best sangria recipeHow to Make Sangria

By Mark Adams

Mark is a professional winemaker, former winery owner, author and frequent speaker on wine.  He currently teaches wine classes throughout the United States.

Sangria.  Just saying the word sounds fun doesn’t it?  Before we learn how to make sangria, let’s learn a little about it first.

Spain claims to have invented Sangria. But I suspect people have been adding fruit to wine since the beginning of wine.

In Latin, the word Sangrial means blood.

I suspect our modern term evolved because somebody long ago in Tuscany, what is now part of Italy, used the wines from local grapes called sangiovese and mixed in a little fruit and called it Sangria and then the term later spread to Spain and then other parts of the world.

Before the age of modern refrigeration and the proliferation of soft drinks, sangria was the perfect easy to drink, refreshing beverage. You could say it was the soft drink of its day.

The beauty of Sangria is that about any type of wine, a little fruit, maybe a sweetner and you have a really great tasting drink.

Today, we think of Sangria as a punch type drink for parties or special occasions. But in reality it can be enjoyed many different ways and in many different styles.

The traditional sangria consists of red wine, usually a Spanish red wine like Rioja. But any red will do.

Several slices of citrus like oranges or lemons and other fruits like apples or pares. Many people will up the ante a little and add a bit of countreau, which is a orange flavored licquor to the mixture. It can be made either way.

The wine is allowed to marinate for several hours and then just before serving, a sweetner like a Sprite or 7 up is added.

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Prefer white wines, never fear, then try sangria Blanco. For those of you who missed Spanish class that day, blanco simply means white. In this case white wine sangria.

The mixtures are the same.

Here are some tips on how to make  sangria even better.

Those old ice cube trays you have stuck way in the back of your cabinets that you haven’t used in years, pull them out and fill them up with the sangria and then put them in the freezer.

When ready to serve simply put the cubes in the sangria. Not only will they cool the sangria, when they melt, unlike ice, they won’t water down the drink.

This is especially important with white sangria. Red sangria can be served at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Marinate your Sangria at least 6 hours or overnight if possible.

Always add the sprite just before serving. It will go flat it put in at the beginning.

The typical mixture of wine to sprite is one 750 ml bottle (the regular size) to an 8 ounce can. That’s basically a 3 to 1 wine t sprit ration.

Just scale up if necessary.

Another option is flavored wines.

Flavored or fruit wines can be made just like sangria. For instance strawberry or mango or green apple wines make excellent punches.

Mix with similar fruit to the wine and then add sprite like above and serve.

Whether you’re a Sangria pro or trying it for the first time, you know why this drink continues to be popular after all these years.

Now you know how to make sangria!

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