You might think that sangria, frequently sipped at summer patio parties and at Cinco de Mayo festivities, is a rather modern drink. You’d be wrong.

Sangria: Recipes - History - Greece - Hippocras

Hippocras CC 3.0 FXcuisine

The roots of sangria go back to ancient Greece to a drink called Hippocras, made from wine mixed with sugar and spices. After steeping the spices in the sweetened wine for a day, the spices were strained out through a conical cloth filter bag called a manicum hippocraticum or Hippocratic sleeve (originally devised by the famous 5th century BC Greek physician Hippocrates to filter water).

Next, the Romans, who loved spiced wine and had a knack for finding the best products from the places they conquered, began “importing” Spanish wine beginning around 200 BCE. (Thus, it’s only natural that Spain became the epicenter for what we commonly call sangria today).

Sangria History

Luckily for us, Hippocras continued to be a popular drink in the Middle Ages and is still made in France today. However, the transition to sangria actually dates back to the 1700s when a party drink called Claret Cap Punch became popular in England.

Sangria: Recipes - History - Bar - Menu - Bucket - Wall

Sangria Bar Sign

Sangria was first introduced to the United States at the “Spanish World” pavilion of the 1964 World’s Fair in New York and quickly became a popular drink to serve at home or order out and it’s easy to see why– it’s easy to make and delicious!

While sangria is traditionally a red wine based drink, we’ve incorporated a white wine version (bianco) as well.  While I suggest you use our BIN 36 wines for your sangria, the most important thing is to use a good quality wine, and, if at all possible, let it chill for a minimum of 5 hours to allow the flavors to blend.

The result is a delicious and refreshing summer drink! (To me, it’s as enjoyable on a summer evening as rosé wine — but that’s another story!)

Here are two of my favorite sangria recipes…

Red Sangria Recipe

Sangria: Red Sangria Recipe - Backyard Sipping - Patio - Outdoors - Red

Red Sangria Recipe

1 (750-ml) bottle Merlot (check out our BIN 36 wines)

1/4 cup brandy – does not need to be a very expensive one

1/4 cup Grand Marnier (can be another orange flavored liquor)

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 orange, thinly sliced

1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

1/2 (750-ml) bottle soda water, chilled

Mix all the ingredients together except the soda water.  Let chill in the refrigerator for 3-5 hours for best results.  Add soda at the end just before serving.  This sangria can be served over ice or straight up!

White Sangria Recipe

Sangria: White Sangria Recipes - Backyard Sipping - Patio - Outdoors - White

White Sangria Recipe

1 (750-ml) bottle Sauvignon Blanc (check out our BIN 36 selection)

5 ounces Calvados or other apple liquor

3 tablespoons sugar

1 lime, sliced

1 lemon, sliced

2 ripe peaches, cut into wedges

3 ripe green apples cut into wedges

1 pint raspberries

Sparkling soda water, for topping off glasses of sangria at table

Mix all the ingredients together except the soda water.  Let chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours for best results.  Add soda at the end just before serving.  This sangria can be served over ice or straight up.

Now for the easy part– sitting back on your patio or deck while sipping a nice, cold glass of sangria. It doesn’t  get any better than that!

(In the mood for something else? I also love sharing rosé wine with friends in the summer!)
 


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