Let’s talk sangria. The good and the bad. Shall we?
To me, sangria should be slightly sweet, plenty fruity, and always red. But then again, I’m probably a sangria snob just like I’m a coffee and an ice cream snob. So clearly I’m not the sangria authority of the universe. However, I do know good sangria when I try it, and this is that.
Origins of Sangria
The earliest versions of what we now know as sangria were made in England and France in the 1800s, and sangria was eventually popularized after its formal arrival in the U.S. at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.
Despite its global popularity and common association with Spain, there is no official formula for sangria in Spain. So while some Spaniards may enjoy sangria, it is a more popular drink among tourists. (source) While on vacation in Bali last month, we splurged one lunch and ordered a pitcher of sangria for two. It was fun to try and decipher what all of the flavors and ingredients were, and once we returned home, we wanted to attempt to recreate all of our favorite aspects of the restaurant’s version in our own recipe. It starts with fruit and lots of it. Pineapple, pear, and orange. Aren’t they the best? They make the perfect sweet and tangy fruit combo to absorb all of that red wine goodness. Speaking of red wines, we went with a Spanish tempranillo because we’ve been digging wines from Spain lately. It made the perfect not-too-dry, not-overly-sweet wine for the base of this drink. To sweeten things just a little, we added orange juice, but this is entirely optional if you prefer dry over sweet. This is the beauty of sangria: so customizable.
We were so happy with how this turned out! Smooth with just a little bit of spice from the tempranillo and TONS of fruit to eat with a spoon at the bottom of each glass. This makes a lovely beverage for parties featuring Mexican food. But really, it’d be good for any occasion and pairing. Enjoy!
5-Ingredient Spanish Sangria
- 1 750-ml bottle red Spanish wine (we recommend El Cortijillo, Tempranillo 2011)
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup pineapple (chopped // 1/2 pineapple yields ~1 cup or 165 g)
- 1 medium orange (sliced into thin rounds and then halved)
- 1/2 medium pear (cubed)
- Slice fruit and drop into a large pitcher.
- Add orange juice and wine and stir.
- Refrigerate until serving - 4-6 hours would be ideal so the flavors can mingle. Drink within 1-2 days.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.