I’m a late convert to sangria, that drink synonymous with Spain and Portugal, traditionally made with red wine, fruit juices, some sort of spirit and a whole lot of fruit. You might know that I love Mulled wine; with its spice and warmth, it is altogether a different kind of experience, perfect on cold, damp short winter days and long evenings.
I must confess that my first dalliance with sangria was nothing to write home about, made by a friend from South America but it was heavy on rum and as I don’t like rum, I suppose it was always going to be a non starter. Thankfully, sangria is open to interpretation, how you make it is really how you like it!
What is Sangria?
Trust the European Council to have one!
The definition of sangria under European Union law from a 1991 Council Regulation states that sangria is:
“a drink obtained from wine, aromatized with the addition of natural citrus-fruit extracts or essences, with or without the juice of such fruit and with the possible addition of spices, sweetened and with CO2 added, having an acquired alcoholic strength by volume of less than 12 % vol. The drink may contain solid particles of citrus-fruit pulp or peel and its colour must come exclusively from the raw materials used. The description ‘Sangria’ must be accompanied by the words ‘produced in . . .’ followed by the name of the Member State of production or of a more restricted region except where the product is produced in Spain or Portugal. The description ‘Sangria’ may replace the description ‘aromatized wine-based drink’ only where the drink is manufactured in Spain or Portugal.”
So, if you had any questions, that would have either cleared it all up or confused you even more!
Of course these days, you have many sangria concoctions with white wine, which technically, is sangria blanca and you also have Sangaree, a West Indian drink; name sangaree is an old English name for sangria.
Right then, after all that, let’s just get to the recipe, shall we?