Sangria is the sultry Spanish wine…..prettier than regular wine but a bit of a risk. Wine lovers may not always prefer a fruity wine but they are often pleasantly surprised when they enjoy this libation. While it’s not suitable for many pairings, it’s good to try it out at least once.
I was first introduced to the concept of sangria as a child when our father dipped apple slices in his wine glass and handed them to us off his knife or fork. We gobbled up these wine soaked apple slices the way others might enjoy an after-dinner dessert. It was earthy, organic and full of flavanoids.
Years later, I realized it was a form of sangria to have this apple-wine combo. Occasionally, we’ll happen upon a sangria at a party or restaurant, tapas place, etc but it’s still a rarity. I’ve decided to narrow down some of the sangria recipes that I want to recommend.
The key with sangria is to keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm it with syrupy combinations of ingredients. Sangria should be subtle. Here’s one recipe I recommend:
- 1 bottle of red wine (Rioja, Malbec, Merlot, etc)
- orange slices
- lemon slices or lime
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 shot brandy
- 1-2 cups ginger ale (or modify this to your taste)
- optional: a few cranberries or raspberries
Chill it overnight to let the fruit flavor marinate into the wine. A high quality wine is recommended.
Sangria has been reportedly enjoyed since the Middle Ages when spices like ginger and cardamom were added to it. The word “sangria” is said to originate from at least two sources: “sangre” which means “blood” for its blood color and the Sanskrit word “sakkari” which means “sugared wine.”
White wine sangrias are also wonderful variations. I enjoy those when I have sushi. It’s a nice, light pairing of flavors. Stay tuned for recipes on white wine sangrias! Salud!