Autumn has replenished our surroundings with its colors. Its palette of shades of powerful red, dominant orange, remarkable yellow, and shy green is reminding us about the nature beauty and unexperienced parts. Yet somehow, we still long for the connections with summer. Well, we can offer you at least one reason for gatherings honoring the sunny rays that will be less in the coming days – Sangria.
The definition of sangria (English pronunciation /sæŋˈɡriːə/) under European Union Law states: 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 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 color must come exclusively from the raw materials used. The description Sangria must be accompanied by the words “produced in …” except if it’s produced in Spain or Portugal, due to its origin.
The term sangria dates back to the 18th century. It is generally believed to have been taken from the Spanish “sangre” (blood) in reference to the red color of the drink.
Sangaree, a predecessor drink to sangria that was served either hot or cold, was likely originated in the Caribbean and from there was introduced to America, where it was common in the beginning of the American colonial era, but largely disappeared in the US by the early 20th century. Sangria as an iced drink was reintroduced to the US by the late 1940s, through Hispanic Americans and Spanish restaurants and came to greater popularity with the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.
Sangria is the most famous and popular Spanish drink and its recipes vary widely, with many regional distinctions. Traditional recipes feature red wine mixed with fruits, such as pineapple, peaches, nectarines, berries, apples, pears or melon sweetened with (out) sugar and orange juice. Spanish Rioja red wine is traditional. Sangria with white wine is a more recent innovation, recommended white wines are the dry ones.
Some sangria recipes, in addition to wine and fruit, feature additional ingredients, such as brandy, sparkling water, or flavored liqueur.
Few facts why consuming sangria is healthy
A 5-ounce serving of red wine contains 125 calories and almost 4 grams of carbs. Red wine contributes small amounts of potassium and iron to your sangria. Drinking moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages, including red wine, can slightly boost your levels of high-density lipoprotein, which is the healthy cholesterol and may help in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to the American Heart Association.
100% fruit juice adds nutrients to the sangria but it also increases the calorie count. For example, a 4-ounce serving of orange juice contains 61 calories, but it also adds 42 mg of Vitamin C (women’s daily requirements are 75 mg, men’s are 90 mg). Fresh fruit adds fiber, potassium, and vitamin A to the sangria, but you only get those benefits if you eat the fruit.
National Sangria Day is December 20th, but you don’t have to wait till then, you can enjoy your favorite taste of sangria every Tuesday through Friday from 3pm -7 pm at Bistro 399. It’s our happy hour whenever you feel like enjoying sangria. So, make a toast!