Across the nation each year on December 20th, National Sangria Day recognizes a wine and fresh fruit combination that brings a fresh celebration to the table.
Sangria is a beverage made with wine and sweetened with fresh fruit and fruit juices. Other ingredients can include herbs, spices, carbonation, and liquor. The combinations are endless, giving sangria a place in the cocktail rotation year-round. Refreshing and light during hot summer months, bright and sparkling during the winter ones, this fruity punch is quite versatile.
What could be better than a day dedicated to wine? Sangria Day is the perfect excuse to meet with friends and sample the delicious, fruity drink that is one of Spain’s claims to fame in the area of the culinary arts. Make sure your December 20th really packs a punch!
Each year more and more people are visiting Spain for its food. Over 2,000 years ago, when the Romans inhabited the area, they knew the water there was unsafe for drinking because of bacteria, and so it was common to fortify it with alcohol to kill it off.
The first sangrias (whose name comes from Sangre, or blood, and refers to its dark color) were likely heavily watered downmixes of wine, water, and herbs and spices. Basically, the Romans added anything they could to kill off the bacteria in the water and to disguise the taste of mediocre table wine.
Today, spiced wine is an ancient and much-loved tradition, and even though it originates in Spain and Portugal it’s enjoyed worldwide today. It can be served as an iced outdoor treat in the summer, or as a great way to warm up indoors in the winter.
Sangria made with white wine is called Sangria Blanca.
Use fresh fruit in season for the best flavors. Once mixed, sangria should be chilled and the fruits allowed to marinate a few hours or overnight. When making sangria, if you use 100% juice, you’ll gain the maximum benefits, too. Eating the fruit versus all the sweet cakes and pies over the holidays will be healthier. Get the benefits of red wine, but drink in moderation, and sangria will be worth all the celebration.