Keri Harris-Shaw: Hi! I am Keri, Communications Manager at Total Wine & More. Sangria is a classic and refreshing punch that has been around for centuries. This deep red drink gets its name from the Spanish word Sangre meaning blood.
When the Roman invited Spain around 200 BC they planted vineyards to produce wine. The Spainians paired these wines with fresh fruit and bit of brandy. Soon the punch became a hit all over the European continent. Sangria was largely born of necessity before advances and purification water was often unsafe to drink, in many places alcohol was added to drink to kill off bacteria. Wine was a standby in most homes and many made of themselves from local fruits and berries adding additional fruits seemed only natural.
While it's known for its deep red color, sangria is now frequently made with white wine known as Sangria Blanco or even with sparkling wine. In Southern Spain the drink is often referring to Azura and is made with white wine and peaches or nectarines.
There are many different wine and fruit combination for making sangria. For a traditional red sangria choose a light bodied red wine you like. A Spanish wine makes this drink even more authentic, but any 1 1/2 liter bottle will do.
Mix your wine with brandy, orange juice and sugar. Lastly add fruit of your choosing, but we recommend oranges, apples, lemons and limes. To enjoy it properly allow some time for chilling and the melting of the flavors an hour minimum. When it's ready to drink add some sparkly water to give it some fizz.
For another variation try a sparkling golden sangria, with cava instead of red wine. Orange liquor, white grape juice, oranges, raspberries and nectarines. When using anything sparkling like cava, just be sure to add that ingredient just before serving. There are endless combination of fruit and wine for you to discover in the world of sangria. Cheers!