National Sangria Day: Celebrate With History, Recipes, & More

National Sangria Day is an annual event celebrated by wine lovers and cocktail enthusiasts. It focuses on Sangria, a popular drink known for its combination of wine and fruit, which originated in Spain and Portugal. This day recognizes the beverage’s history and its global popularity. Today, we’re going to learn more about Sangria, including covering a basic Sangria recipe and some Sangria variations that you can experiment with. Let’s get started.

What’s the Origin of Sangria?

As we mentioned, Sangria’s roots trace back to Spain and Portugal, but its history is as rich and varied as its ingredients. Originally, Sangria was a humble mix of wine and whatever fruits were available, often enjoyed by peasants as a refreshing way to combat the hot Iberian summers. Over time, this simple concoction evolved into the sophisticated, beloved beverage we know and love today. It even gained international fame after its introduction at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. And it’s no surprise, either. Fruits are a natural addition to wine!

What Makes Sangria Special?

The beauty of Sangria lies in its versatility. Traditionally, it’s made with red wine, a nod to its Spanish origins, but white wine versions (Sangria Blanca) have also gained popularity. The essence of Sangria is in its blend of wine, fresh fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of brandy or another spirit. Each ingredient contributes to the overall flavor, creating a harmonious balance between sweetness, acidity, and the bitterness of alcohol.

What Makes Sangria Perfect for Gatherings?

Sangria is more than just a drink; it’s also a social experience. It’s often shared among friends and family, making it a perfect addition to any gathering, from casual get-togethers to festive celebrations. On National Sangria Day, hosting a Sangria party can be a delightful way to bring people together, offering a variety of Sangria options to cater to different tastes.

You could even do a base Sangria and then offer brandy-steeped fruits to add to each person’s glass. Get creative with your Sangria offerings – they’ll be a hit.

When Is National Sangria Day?

National Sangria Day is celebrated annually on December 20th. You could celebrate this day, like we mentioned above, by hosting a small get-together with friends, maybe for a game night, and making a pitcher of Sangria to share! Whatever you choose to do, make sure you share it with friends or family members – that’s the whole appeal of Sangria, after all!

Basic Sangria Recipe:

If you’re here for a basic recipe for traditional Sangria, you’ve come to the right place:

Sangria Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of red wine (Spanish varieties like Tempranillo, Garnacha work well)
  • 1/4 cup of brandy
  • 1/4 cup of orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, cored and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups of soda water or club soda (for a fizzy touch, optional)

Traditional Sangria Recipe:

  1. Prepare the Fruit: Slice the orange, lemon, lime, and chop the apple. The fruit slices not only add flavor but also make the Sangria visually appealing.
  2. Mix the Base: In a large pitcher, combine the red wine, brandy, orange juice, and sugar. Stir thoroughly until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  3. Add Fruits: Add the sliced fruits to the pitcher. Stir gently to mix the fruits with the wine mixture.
  4. Chill: Refrigerate the Sangria for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight. This resting period allows the flavors of the fruits to infuse into the wine, creating a more harmonious and robust flavor.
  5. Serve: Just before serving, add soda water or club soda to the Sangria for a refreshing fizz. Serve over ice in wine glasses or tumblers.
  6. Garnish (Optional): Garnish each glass with a slice of fruit from the pitcher or a fresh slice for an extra touch of elegance.

Sangria Variations

National Sangria Day is the perfect opportunity to experiment with different recipes. Whether you prefer the classic red Sangria with oranges and lemons or a more contemporary twist using peaches and berries, there’s no wrong way to enjoy this drink. You can even go beyond the traditional, incorporating sparkling water or flavored liqueurs for an extra zing. 

Sangria is a versatile drink that can be adapted in numerous ways. Here are five creative variations on the classic Sangria, each with its own unique twist and recipe:

Berry Rosé Sangria

This Berry Rosé Sangria is a light and fruity option, perfect for summer gatherings. It combines the sweetness of berries with the crispness of rosé wine. You will need:

  • 1 bottle of Rosé wine
  • 1/2 cup of brandy
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
  • 2 cups of sparkling water
  • Ice cubes

Combine Rosé wine, brandy, and sugar in a pitcher. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add mixed berries and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Before serving, add sparkling water and ice.

Citrus White Sangria

Citrus White Sangria is a zesty and refreshing option, featuring a variety of citrus fruits. It’s perfect for those who enjoy a tangy twist to their drinks. You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio)
  • 1/2 cup of triple sec
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 2 cups of club soda
  • Ice cubes

Mix white wine, triple sec, and honey in a pitcher. Add sliced oranges, lemons, and limes. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Serve with club soda and ice.

Peach & Mint Sangria

Peach & Mint Sangria is a delightful blend of sweet peaches and refreshing mint. It’s a unique twist that’s both aromatic and flavorful. To make this pitcher of delicious Sangria, you’ll need:

  • 1 bottle of dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup of peach schnapps
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 ripe peaches, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups of sparkling water
  • Ice cubes

Combine white wine, peach schnapps, and sugar in a pitcher. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add sliced peaches and mint leaves. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with sparkling water and ice.

Spiced Red Sangria

Spiced Red Sangria is a warming drink, ideal for cooler weather. It features the rich flavors of red wine and a hint of cinnamon and star anise. For this one, you’ll need the following:

  • 1 bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot)
  • 1/2 cup of brandy
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cups of ginger ale
  • Ice cubes

Mix red wine, brandy, and sugar in a pitcher. Add sliced orange, cinnamon stick, and star anise. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Add ginger ale and ice before serving.

Tropical Sangria

Finally, we have a delicious tropical Sangria for you. Tropical Sangria brings a burst of exotic flavors, combining tropical fruits with a light white wine. It’s a vibrant and colorful choice for a festive occasion. You’ll need:

  • 1 bottle of white wine (Chardonnay or Riesling)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut rum
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 pineapple, chopped
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of coconut flakes
  • 2 cups of pineapple juice
  • Ice cubes

Combine white wine, coconut rum, and sugar in a pitcher. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add chopped pineapple, mango, and coconut flakes. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Serve with pineapple juice and ice.

Sangria Tips for Mixing the Perfect Pitcher

Creating your own Sangria is easy and fun, but there are definitely ways you can make your pitcher of Sangria stand out in the crowd. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Use Fresh Ingredients: The key to a great Sangria is using fresh, high-quality fruits. Choose seasonal fruits for the best flavor and natural sweetness. Oranges, lemons, berries, apples, and peaches are popular choices.
  2. Select the Right Wine: Your Sangria’s base should be a wine that you enjoy drinking on its own. For traditional red Sangria, opt for a fruity, medium-bodied wine like Tempranillo or Grenache. For a lighter, Sangria Blanca, choose a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
  3. Incorporate High-Quality Local Spirits: Adding a splash of brandy or another spirit enhances the depth of your Sangria. Consider using high-quality local spirits to add a unique twist and support local distilleries.
  4. Balance with the Right Sweetener: Depending on the natural sweetness of your fruit and wine, adjust the sweetness with simple syrup, honey, or agave. Start with a small amount and taste as you go.
  5. Let It Marinate: Sangria gets better with time. Allow it to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours, or even overnight, to let the flavors meld together. This waiting period is essential for the fruits to infuse the wine with their flavors.
  6. Consider Adding a Fizzy Touch: Just before serving, you might want to add a bit of carbonation for a refreshing twist. A splash of sparkling water or soda can lighten up your Sangria, especially on a hot day.

Find the Best Spirits & Wines for Your Sangria at Distillery Nearby!

National Sangria Day is more than just an excuse to enjoy a tasty drink; it’s a celebration of culture, history, and the joy of sharing. But, having the right spirits and wine can make all the difference in your pitcher! Here at Distillery Nearby, we created our distillery directory to make finding local spirits easy and efficient. So, what are you waiting for? Browse our by-state directory today to find delicious spirits produced right in your area!

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