Thursday, December 20, 2012

Salute to National Sangria Day

My bottle of cheap red Sangria. Even cheap Sangria tastes good!

Today – December 20th – is National Sangria Day!

Scanning headlines this afternoon (never got around to the task this morning) was a small article mentioning the fact that today is National Sangria Day.

I recently became a fan of white sangria. Traditional sangria is red, but innovation and change is always welcome. The white variety, savored a few months ago at a wine tasting festival, has become my favorite (alcoholic) beverage of choice.

Sangria is a fruit wine punch. Originally Sangria (translation: bloody) was made from Bordeaux red wine. The drink became popular throughout Europe in the 1700s and 1800s and was called Claret Cup in England. Sangria red was typically made from a combination of three wines: cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and merlot. Brandy and fruit added flavor to the blend. The mixture was the drink of choice for Jane Austen heroines.

Sangria’s origins trace back to the Roman conquest of Spain. Romans planted vineyards throughout Spain around 200 BC. Red wine punches, which the Spanish named Sangria, date back almost that far. Sangria is called zurra in southern Spain. White Sangria is called Sangria Blanco.

Sangria was introduced to Americans at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. It is prepared with a concoction of the following ingredients: red or white wine, fruit (often soaked in wine), fruit juices, soda water, and occasionally brandy.

There is no right or wrong fruit to use when making Sangria. Limes, oranges, peaches, nectarines, apples, berries all make great mixes.

Most restaurants make their own Sangria, usually served in a pitcher over ice and garnished with fresh fruit.

So this evening raise your glass of red or white Sangria, or whatever your (alcoholic) beverage of choice might be, and Salud! Sangria!


  1. Hadn't had any Sangria since the 1970s, until a friend of mine served some white Sangria at his Thanksgiving party. It was good. I look forward to putting it on the menu next summer.

  2. I had not had Sangria since the
    70's either until this past summer when we went to Spain's--a restaurant in Rhode Island. I had not idea that there was an official day.