Thursday, May 21, 2009


As a relatively new fan of sangria, I am excited to share what little I know about it, and to urge people to discover, or rediscover, the magic.

My love for red wine dates back only a few years, to the college days when I lived with my cousin Laura, my friend Laura, and a girl named Crystal. My friend Laura was a very inspirational and beautiful girl, and she taught me the ways of wine--she was basically my wine guru and our roach infested apartment her ashram. There was rarely an evening in that apartment when wine did not grace us with its glorious presence. If I may steal the words of my friend Ashley, we probably could have saved the planet by recycling all the wine bottles we went through. Needless to say, I like wine, and I have grown to thoroughly enjoy it in it's natural form.

Enter: Sangria. According to legend (history actually), Sangria originated in Spain and Portugal, although it is also commonly served at Mexican restaurants. It is basically a wine punch with endless variations. The word Sangria means bloody, and it's not hard to imagine why. Sangria is typically served as a casual, refreshing drink in the summer--it is simply the perfect to sip on a patio.

The beauty of Sangria lies in it's endless potential to become whatever the creator imagines. The alcohol content is up to you! Typically, a bottle of red wine is used; you may decide whether to use merlot, a cab sav, shiraz and so on. You also can choose how much brandy to add--some people use gin! The truly exciting part, in my opinion, is the fruit. When it comes to adding fruit to your sangria, the options are basically as endless as there are types of fruit. The most common, however, are oranges, lemons and limes. My friend Emily made some wonderful Sangria in Taiwan with peaches and apples as well--but you can really use anything, and it would be hard to ruin it. So go ahead, toss in some mango chunks, some kiwis, a nectarine! Pineapple? Sure! Go bananas--literally!

Here is a basic sangria recipe, but like I said before, experiment away!

- 1 bottle of red wine (or more)

- 1/3 cup of sugar (optional)

- 1/3 cup of brandy (or more)

- 1 lemon, sliced crosswise

- 1 orance, sliced crosswise

- 1 medium pear, diced

- 2 medium peached, peeled, pitted and sliced

- 2 cups of sliced strawberries

- 1 can of ginger ale

You can use lemon-lime soda instead of ginger ale if you prefer, you may vary the amounts of the ingredients above, you may add flavored vodka, you may even use white instead of red wine if you wish. Sangria is tastier if made in advance so that the fruit can soak up the flavors. Knock yourself out! I recommend tripling or quadrupling the recipe and substituting sangria for water. 8 glasses a day baby.

Sangria is typically served in a pitcher with a wooden spoon to be used for scooping out the wonderful infused fruit pieces. This is a sangria pitcher I picked up in Barcelona--I am so looking forward to using it!


  1. I think Sangria is the perfect party drink. Its a hit anywhere and with anyone! How can you not love it?

  2. im not a huge fan of red wine but sangria is ok, i had a glass memorial day weekend when we went to the river walk. well, half a glass. it still had red wine in it.
    ps. I like your (or more) after the 1 bottle of red wine. typical bethany.