Are you looking for an easy and delicious way to make a traditional Spanish sangria? Take a look at this recipe. Sangria is one of the best-known drinks from Spain. Yet people are afraid to recreate this drink in their homes. If you have always wanted to recapture the taste of this Spanish classic, it is a delicious recipe.
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The Origins of Sangria
Sangria comes from the Spanish word for "sangre" (blood), referring to the red color of the drink. This Spanish drink has a long history dating back to the Roman Empire. Romans planted grapes to make wine when they inhabited the Iberian Peninsula over 2,000 years ago. Remember that water was not always safe to drink in those times. Making wine allowed them to kill off bacteria by producing alcohol. The first sangrias were a mixture of wine, herbs, water, and spices— a far cry from the modern drink.
The modern sangria debuted at the 1964 New York World's Fair's Spanish Pavilion. Visitors quickly took note of this drink for its sweet flavor. The recipe for the drink appeared in cookbooks while bartenders concocted their own versions.
While the drink's popularity has soared in the United States, those in Spain do not make their own drinks. They often purchase a premade version from the supermarket. However, the drink is served to tourists during the summer season in the country.
If you want to serve up the classic sangria that you will find in Spanish tapas bars, here is the recipe for you.
Some key ingredients include red wine, lemon, orange, sugar, apple, nectarine, soda, and a cinnamon stick.
For the red wine, you want to use a fruity table wine. Make sure it is one that you will want to drink on its own. However, it should not be too expensive or complex. While you may be tempted to use the cheapest wine, that will guarantee you wake up with a hangover for the next day. Also, stay away from red wines with an oaky flavor. A young, fruity red wine will work best for these recipes.
Fruits are common ingredients for red sangria. In Spain, red sangria will usually have various fruits. Oranges and lemons are the key ingredients. Some other fruits may include green apples, peaches, or apricots.
You will not want to get too crazy with the spices - keep it simple. In most cases, you can toss in a cinnamon stick. Some people will use nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and star anise to give it more flavor.
Don't dump in the sugar without tasting the drink. Add the sugar little by little. If you want something that incorporates better, try using simple syrup for the mixture.
Soda is another optional ingredient. Most traditional Spanish sangrias will not have carbonation. For those who like a little more fizz, add lemon soda to sangria before drinking it.
You can pack more punch into your sangria by adding a couple of ounces of Spanish vermouth or brandy.
Making Traditional Sangria: Step by Step
If you want to make sangria, it is relatively easy. Here are the steps:
Make a simple syrup. You can use a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. Allow it to cool as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
After this, take the citrus fruits and peel the rinds off them. You can then juice the fruit; if using apples, dice them to add to the drink.
Combine all of the ingredients. You can put the wine into a big decanter and add the peeled rinds, citrus juice, and simple syrup.
With everything in a decanter, you can give it a light stir and add in those spices. Remember that simple is better. If you have any additional alcohol, like brandy, or more fruit, add it into the mix. For those using soda, you will want to put it in before serving to your guests or pouring it into glasses.
That's it! You now have a traditional Spanish sangria that you can serve with tapas or at your favorite summertime party!
Now that you have the recipe down, here are a few answers to your questions.
Is Sangria High in Alcohol or Sugar?
Traditional sangria will have about the same amount of alcohol as a glass of wine. This drink is made with diluted wine. However, if you add brandy, then the alcohol content of the drink will increase.
Regarding sugar content, classic sangrias will have sugar from the wine and the fruit. But the sugar content is not too high. Some people will add more sugar to the mix, which, as expected, will increase the sugar content.
Can I Make Sangria in Advance?
Yes, you can always make sangria ahead of a party. In many cases, the sangria will taste better when you allow it to set. Many people make sangria the night before an event. With that, the fruit will macerate and release all those flavors. Leave out the soda water until you are ready to serve it.
How Long Will Sangria Hold?
Since the recipe calls for fresh fruit, you will not want to keep it in the fridge for more than two days. After that, the fruit is past its prime.
What Is the Recommended Serving Suggestion?
This recipe will make a pitcher of sangria. Make one or two pitches for the event if you plan to have a large party.
With that, you have the perfect recipe to create your own traditional and delicious Spanish sangria.
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