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Kali Mireva

Sangria Popularity: Brief History and Additional Facts

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There is no doubt that people all over the world love sangria. Whether it’s part of their culture or not, this drink won the hearts of millions. It’s typically a refreshing beverage, perfect for the summer cocktails list of any bar or restaurant. However, plenty of great sangria cocktail recipes can be enjoyed during the colder months. 

Both red and white sangria come from Spain, but people don’t know much about it. Even the waiters at restaurants. And they are the ones who typically have to answer questions. If you are a restaurant owner or in a similar position in the hospitality industry, it’s good to get familiar with sangria flavors and history. The sangria popularity will only increase in the future, so you need to be prepared. 

If you want to provide outstanding service at your bar or restaurant, knowing more about the rise of sangria and how it gained today’s popularity is crucial. You can engage your customers in a nice conversation and give them in-depth information about what they are drinking. Got your interest? Let’s get started!

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The Origin and History of Sangria

It’s hard to tell where exactly sangria was made for the very first time. What we know is that it didn’t originate from Italy or Portugal, which is a common misconception. This wine drink was first made somewhere in Spain. However, not in the Spain we know and love today. 

It’s believed that sangria popularity is so big today because the beverage has a long history. Some historians believe that it was first made in the Middle Ages. Back then, spiced wines were served after dinner as a digestif (see also: benefits of digestifs). These drinks were then called hippocras. Think of it as the ancestor of the sangria we know now. 

The name of the beverage translates to “blood” or “bleed” in Spanish. It refers to the deep red color of the original sangria recipe. 

Around 200 BCE the Romans crossed the Iberian Peninsula and wanted to conquer Spain. Then, the Spanish people started growing grapes to make wine. This helped them have something to trade with. Back then, the wine was made out of pure necessity rather than love for winemaking. The Spanish winemakers added sugar and spices, as well as some fruit to make it easier to drink. 

At this point, water was not safe to drink, so the sangria popularity naturally increased. It soon became the drink of choice for people of any walk of life and age. 

Key Takeaway: Sangria has a long and fascinating history. It’s spread all over the world because it’s an easy-to-make drink that can be customized. Different countries have their own preferred wines and fruits to use in sangria. That’s why the sangria popularity grew so fast and will probably continue to grow!

Sangria Popularity: How It Grew

In the mid-18th and 19th centuries, sangria popularity grew even bigger. This is when it made its way to France and England. The French started replacing the Spanish Tempranillo for Bordeaux. Other commonly used wines were also: 

  • Cabaret Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Franc

When colonialism spread, sangria spread with it. At some point, it made its way to Latin America and from there it got to the United States. The first appearance of sangria in the States was at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. From then one, the sangria popularity exploded in North America. 

Sangria Popularity in Different Countries

Although it originated in Spain, sangria is now a favorite of many people from across the globe. If you are in charge of managing a cruise beverage inventory, for example, you must make sure there are enough ingredients to make sangria on board. Chances are that you will have a lot of customers who would love to sip on this refreshing drink while looking at the waves. 

To give you more insight on the sangria popularity, we have ranked the countries (besides Spain) where it’s most commonly consumed. 

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1. United States

Sangria is a popular beverage in the United States, especially during the warmer months. Many restaurants and bars offer their variations of sangria, and it has become a staple at summer parties and gatherings. Don’t forget to offer sangria at your Super Bowl watch party, too!

2. Portugal

As a neighbor to Spain, Portugal also has a tradition of enjoying sangria. They have regional variations but the concept is the same.

3. Mexico

It’s safe to say that as a country with cultural similarities to Spain, sangria is well-loved. Of course, Mexicans add their own twist to it by using local ingredients but the drink is as delicious as the original. 

4. Brazil

Sangria popularity in Brazil is big, particularly in beachside areas and during festive events. Brazilians tend to use local wines and fruit for their version of sangria.

5. Argentina

The sangria popularity in Argentina is also significant. There, the drink is called  "clericó" or "vino con frutas" but it’s made the same way. 

6. Australia

Sangria has found its way into the Australian beverage scene, especially during the summer months. Sangria is a drink that goes well with some seafood dishes, so it’s a popular choice in such restaurants. 

7. United Kingdom

Sangria has become a popular choice at bars and restaurants in the United Kingdom, particularly during warm weather. 

8. Canada

As we mentioned previously, once sangria made it to North America, it became a favorite. From Mexico to Canada, everyone in the North enjoys a good glass of sangria. 

In any of these countries, people tend to use local wines and fruits. This means that the flavor of sangria differs but the preparation methods are very similar. Various recipes used sparkling wines too, or even complete the sangria with some sparkling water or soda. 

With bubbles or not, the sangria popularity is huge. This simple cocktail drink managed to earn the hearts of so many people that it deserves a special place on almost any beverage menu. If you are not serving sangria yet, consider adding it to your offers for the upcoming warmer months!

Download our FREE Sangria eBook today!

Frequently Asked Questions about Sangria Popularity

To learn more about sangria popularity, read the answers to the questions below. We have gathered some of the most frequently asked ones. 

Why Is Sangria So Popular?

Sangria popularity can be attributed to its refreshing taste and visual appeal. It’s also a versatile and highly customizable drink. It is commonly associated with leisure and celebration, which contributes to the popularity. Today, many people around the globe love it and enjoy it at special events or on a regular evening. 

What Makes Sangria a Popular Party Drink?

Sangria is a drink easy to share if it’s made in a punch bowl. It’s highly customizable and it’s very refreshing. This makes it a popular drink to serve at large parties and gatherings where people serve themselves drinks. 

Is Sangria Only Popular in the Warmer Months?

While sangria is mostly consumed in the warmer months, it’s a good drink choice year-round. Seasonal adaptations are possible and should be done. Using winter fruits and spices in colder months will make it more weather-appropriate. If you want to enjoy during cold weather, stick to classic red wine options.

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