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Everything You Need to Know about the Sangria Drink

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Sangria is so refreshing and delicious! It’s a drink that deserves a spot on most beverage menus. There is a wide variety of wine cocktails in the world but none of them can beat sangria in popularity. The different varieties of wine available nowadays make it possible to achieve all kinds of flavors. 

How to Make Sangria: Ways and Ingredients

If you want to make a great impression on your customers, you need to learn how to make a great sangria drink with different flavors. But before we get into the flavors and the different ingredients you can use, let’s see what is sangria. 

What Is the Sangria Drink?

Sangria is a mixed drink that was first created in Spain. It contains alcohol and it’s most commonly made with red wine. However, you can use white and rose wine, as well as various sparkling wines. Sangria includes chopped fruit and often other spirits as well.

The ABV of sangria can vary depending on the specific wine that’s being used. Most of the time, the alcohol content is between 5% and 15%. If you use other liquor in the recipe, the ABV can increase. 

Most Common Sangria Drink Ingredients

As already mentioned, sangria can be made in different ways. However, there are ingredients that are part of most sangria drink recipes. Let’s see which they are!

  • Red wine
  • Fruits
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Strawberries 
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Sweetener
  • Liquor 
  • Fruit juices

Additional Ingredients You Can Use

There’s a list of additional ingredients some cocktail experts like to use when making a sangria drink. These ingredients give a different texture and aroma to sangria.

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Make a Sangria Drink in 8 Easy Steps

Here are the simple steps to follow when making any sangria drink:

1. Prepare the fruit by washing and slicing it

2. Mix the wine and sweetener in a big pitcher. Stir until the sweetener is dissolved.

3. Add the fruits and squeeze lemon juice.

4. Pour brandy or triple sec in the mixture if you want to use liquor.  

5. Put your sangria drink in the fridge for a few hours so it can get nice and chill. 

6. Add sparkling water or soda right before serving, so you can keep the bubbliness. 

How to Make Different Sangria Flavors

There are numerous recipes you can use when making a sangria drink. The various wines available today can help you achieve unique flavors. The fruits and other ingredients can have a big impact on the taste, too. 

If you really want to make unique sangrias for your bar or restaurant, we have a list that will help you narrow down the options. Here are the ingredients to try!

5 Ways to Make Unique Sangria Flavors

Achieving a different flavor of sangria can be done in seven ways. Here is what you can use to alter the final result!

1. Sangria with Exotic Fruits

Use these exotic fruits to achieve a different flavor:

  • Dragon fruit
  • Lychee
  • Passion fruit
  • Star fruit
  • Mango

2. Sangria Infused with Herbs

The herbs you can use to infuse sangria and create a unique flavor are:

  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Thyme

3. Spicy Sangria

Spicy spirits are becoming more popular by the day. That’s why we suggest you experiment wit sangria, too. If you want to make a spicy variety, you will need: 

  • Jalapeños
  • Ginger
  • Chili powder

4. Sangria with Different Wines

Experiment with different wines to make unique sangrias. You can try various white wines, including port wine. Sparkling wines, such as prosecco wine are a good choice, too. You can also try some exotic wines for a truly unique sangria.

5. Non-Alcoholic and Low-Alcohol Sangria

Try making low-alcohol and non-alcohol varieties, too. Many people are striving to limit alcohol consumption and they will be happy to see such options on your menu. You can use low-alcohol wine, as well as non-alcoholic wine

White Sangria vs. Classic Sangria

Although sangria is known for its blood-red color, white sangria is also popular nowadays. In the previous sections of this article, we have discussed ways to achieve a different flavor. But now, let’s talk more about white sangria and the classic red sangria drink that won the hearts of many people years ago. 

What Is a Classic Sangria?

Classic sangria is always made with red wine. Fruits and spices like cinnamon are a must, too.  However, over time, the recipes evolved. They started changing depending on the season and the available ingredients. Also, depending on the person preparing it. 

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8 Best Wines for Classic Sangria

There is a huge range of red wines you can use to make classic sangria. Here’s our list of the most suitable types: 

1. Tempranillo

2. Garnacha

3. Merlot

4. Zinfandel

5. Syrah/Shiraz

6. Cabernet Sauvignon

7. Malbec

8. Red Wine Blend

What Is White Sangria?

White sangria, unlike the classic sangria, is made with white wine. Fruits and spices are the same or similar to those in classic sangria recipes. It’s most commonly consumed in the warmer months. 

8 Best Wines for White Sangria

There are numerous white wine types in the world. However, just a few of them are well-known for being a great base for sangria. You can experiment on your own, too, but here are our suggestions: 

1. Sauvignon Blanc

2. Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris

3. Albariño

4. Chardonnay

5. Viognier

6. Moscato

7. Gewürztraminer

8. Riesling

6 Best Sangria Cocktail Recipes

A sangria drink can be made with different wines and fruits. Spice options are numerous, too. This means there is no one recipe or a few that need all the attention. However, there are some that have gained a lot of popularity and even have become go-to summer cocktails

To give you some inspiration, here is a list of the recipes to look into and try for your bar and restaurant, too!

1. Three-Ingredient Sangria - The easiest way to make a sangria drink is by mixing Sprite with red wine and fruit. Simple, quick, and very delicious!

2. Mango Strawberry Sangria - This sangria is made with a good rose wine. You also need mangoes and strawberries, as well as triple sec, club soda, and fresh mint. 

3. Mint and Citrus White Wine Sangria - A white wine sangria drink is good for the hot summer days. For this recipe, you are going to need lemons and lime, as well as fresh mint. Choose a nice bottle of white wine and you will get a super refreshing drink! We recommend trying this recipe with Pinot Grigio. 

4. Sparkling Sangria - Sparkling wines are a great base for a sangria drink. They give effervescence to the drink and a unique flavor. Add brandy and orange liqueur, too. In terms of fruit, use oranges and raspberries. Lemon and lime for a citrusy touch, too. 

5. Iced Tea Sangria - One original take to sangria is making it not only with white wine as a base but with iced tea, too! Add fruits that will complement the flavors of the tea.

6. Apple Cider Sangria - Combining apple cider and sangria into a unique drink will make many people happy. Both are well-loved drinks in the United States, so don’t be afraid to experiment. We suggest using white wine as a base, preferably Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Add apple slices, ginger ale, and some apple brandy, too. 

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History and Other Facts about Sangria

There is no doubt that people anywhere would love a nice sangria drink! Whether it’s part of their culture or not, this beverage won the hearts of many. Most recipes are perfect for the hot summer days. However, there are plenty of sangrias that you can sip on during the colder months. 

The classic red sangria is the most popular type. White sangria is a great alternative to it, especially for people who prefer white wine or lighter drink options. As a restaurant owner or if you are in a similar position in the hospitality industry, it’s good to get familiar with sangria types and history. 

Knowing the history of this drink will spark great conversations with some customers. Many who have not tried it will be happy to do so if you tell them more about the sangria drink they are eyeing. Train your waiters to answer questions and share interesting facts and you will see the positive impact soon after!

History of Sangria

It’s not easy to point out where a sangria drink was first made. It’s a common misconception that sangria comes from Italy or Portugal, but that’s not true. The mixed drink was invented in Spain, many years ago. It was not in the beautiful country of Spain we know and love today. 

Many think that sangria is so popular because of its long history. Historians believe that it was first created back in the Middle Ages. During these times, spiced wine was served after dinner as a digestif spirit. However, people didn’t call them digestifs then, but hippocras. And this is the grandmother of sangria we know today!

The name of the sangria drink comes from “blood” or “bleed” in Spanish. That’s because of the deep red color of classic sangria that is made with red wine. 

Around 200 BCE the Romans crossed the Iberian Peninsula. They wanted to conquer Spain. At this time, the Spanish began growing grapes and started making wine. This gave them something to trade with. This wine was made out of necessity and not out of love for winemaking. The winemakers added sugar, spices, and fruit to make the wine easier to drink. 

How the Sangria Drink Became Popular

In the mid-18th and 19th centuries, sangria made its way to France and England. It became drastically more popular. The French people started using Bordeaux, rather than Tempranillo. Other wines that were used are: 

  • Cabaret Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Franc

Once colonialism spread, sangria spread with it. Eventually, it made its way to Latin America and then got to the United States. Sangria appeared in the States for the first time in 1964, during the World’s Fair in New York City. And the rest is history! 

Sangria Popularity All Over the World

Sangria is a favorite of people all over the world because of its versatility and great taste. No matter what type of recipe you choose, the unique character of sangria is what makes it great to have on any beverage menu. 

Once the sangria drink got out of Spain and to other countries, its popularity grew tremendously. Here we have listed all the countries that love sangria the most. If you are running a hotel, bar, or restaurant in any of these, don’t forget to try some sangria recipes for your business, too. 

In case you are managing a cruise beverage inventory, for example, you make sure there are enough ingredients to make different sangrias on board. There surely will be lots of customers who would love to sip on this refreshing drink while relaxing on the ship. 

1. United States - Sangria is a sought-after drink in the United States, typically during the warmer months. Lots of restaurants and bars offer their versions of sangria, and the drink has become a staple for summer events. Don’t forget to offer sangria at your Super Bowl watch party, as well!

2. Portugal - People in Portugal also enjoy sangria. They have their own versions but the basics are the same.

3. Mexico - Mexicans too, add their own twist to the sangria drink but enjoy it lots, just like the Spanish do. 

4. Brazil - Sangria's popularity in Brazil is big.  Especially in beachside areas and during big events. Brazilians typically use local wines and fruit for their sangria.

5. Argentina - In Argenting sangria is called  "clericó" or "vino con frutas" but it’s made the same way as the classic sangria. 

6. Australia - Sangria goes well with some seafood dishes and it quickly became popular in Australia. 

7. United Kingdom - People in the United Kingdom also love to have a nice sangria drink during the hot summer days.  

8. Canada - Once sangria made it to North America, it became a favorite in all northern countries. Canada included!

In Conclusion

Upgrading the menu of bars and restaurants needs to be done regularly. As seasons change and various trends come into play, business owners must adapt quickly. In this guide, we provided a lot of information about the popular sangria drink that can inspire you to change some of your current offers.

Give sangria a chance this spring and summer and see how your customers react. It may even deserve a place on your permanent beverage menu!

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