Sangria (Spanish: sangría; meaning "bloody") is
a wine punch typical of Spain. Because of the variation in recipes, sangria's
alcoholic content can vary greatly. The ingredients in sangria vary,
particularly in the type of fruit used, the kind of spirits added (if any), and
the presence or lack of carbonation.
Left: Pitchers of Sangria ready to be
It normally consists of:
a light, dry, young, acidic, unoaked, fruit forward red
wine, usually from the province of Rioja in Spain and of the Tempranillo or
Grenache varieties; other reds that work well include French wines such as
Gamay or Beaujolais, and Italian wines such as Grignolino, Bardolino,
Dolcetto, Freisa, or Lambrusco;
chopped or sliced fruit (often orange, lemon, apple,
peach, berries, pineapple; occasionally melon, grape, or mango);
a sweetener such as honey, sugar, simple syrup, orange
juice, and/or fruit nectar;
a small amount of added brandy, triple sec, or other
and ice and carbonated soda, in some recipes.
White wine can be used instead of red, in which case the
result is called sangria blanca or, as in Argentina, clerico. An
affordable bottle of unoaked, fruit forward Chardonnay would work well here.
Some recipes that use heavier reds can be lightened by mixing a bottle of white
in the mix. In some parts of Northern Spain, sangria is called zurra and
is made with peaches or nectarines. In most recipes, wine is the dominant
ingredient and acts as a base. In some regions of Portugal, cinnamon is also
added with the sweetener.
Preparation consists of cutting the fruit in thin slices or
small cubes, then mixing in advance all ingredients except for ice and
carbonated sodas. After several hours, or a full day in a refrigerator to allow
time for the fruit flavors to blend with the rest of the ingredients, the ice
and any last-minute ingredients are added and the drinks are poured.
A non-alcoholic version of sangria is made from wine grapes,
carbonated water, essence of lemon, and cane sugar.
Sangria is served throughout Spain and Portugal during
summer, and in the southern and eastern parts of the countries year-round. In
these places it is a popular drink among tourists at bars, pubs and restaurants
where it is often served in 1-litre pitchers or other containers large enough to
hold a bottle of wine plus the added ingredients. A lid or other strainer for
the container helps prevent the fruit and ice cubes from falling into the glass.
Among the Spanish, sangria is most typically served at
informal social gatherings, much like punch, from a punchbowl. Sangria is often
served with a wooden spoon, used to get fruit out of the bottom of the punchbowl
or pitcher. Sangria is also commonly served in Mexico and Argentina, and at
Mexican and Argentine restaurants.
Bottled sangria can be bought in some countries, but this is considered by some
to be less entertaining than making it oneself.