Sangria (English: /sæŋˈɡrə/, Portuguese pronunciation: [sɐ̃ˈɡɾi.ɐ]; Spanish: sangría [saŋˈɡɾi.a]) is an alcoholic beverage from Spain.

Serving temperatureCold or chilled
Main ingredientsRed wine and Fruit

A punch, the sangria traditionally consists of red wine and chopped fruit, often with other ingredients or spirits.

Sangria may probably be the most popular drink from the Spanish cuisine. It is commonly served in bars, restaurants, chiringuitos, and festivities throughout Spain.[1]

History and etymology

Sangría literally means bloodletting in Spanish.[2] The term sangria used for the drink can be traced back to the 18th century. According to the SAGE Encyclopedia of Alcohol, sangria's origins "cannot be pinpointed exactly, but early versions were popular in Spain, Greece, and England."[3][4]

Sangaree, a predecessor drink to sangria that was served either hot or cold, likely originated in the Caribbean (West Indies),[5][6] and from there was introduced to mainland America, where it was common beginning in the American colonial era but "largely disappeared in the United States" by the early twentieth century.[5] Sangria as an iced drink was reintroduced to the U.S. by the late 1940s through Hispanic Americans and Spanish restaurants,[5] and enjoyed greater popularity with the 1964 World's Fair in New York.[4][5]


Sangria recipes vary wildly even within Spain, with many regional distinctions.[7] The base ingredients are always red wine, and some means to add a fruity or sweeter flavour, and maybe boost the alcohol content.

Traditionally may be mixed with local fruits such as peaches, nectarines, berries, apples, pears, or global fruits such as pineapple or lime,[7] and sweetened with sugar and orange juice.[8][9] Spanish Rioja red wine is traditional.[10][11]Some sangria recipes, in addition to wine and fruit, feature additional ingredients, such as brandy, sparkling water, or a flavored liqueur.[7]

Sangria blanca (sangria with white wine) is a more recent innovation.[12][13] For sangria blanca, Casas recommends dry white wines such as a Rueda, Jumilla, or Valdepeñas.[14]

European Union law protection

The definition of sangria under European Union law from a 1991 Council Regulation 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 with 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 colour must come exclusively from the raw materials used. The description 'Sangria' must be accompanied by the words 'produced in . . .' followed by the name of the Member State of production or of a more restricted region except where the product is produced in Spain or Portugal. The description 'Sangria' may replace the description 'aromatized wine-based drink' only where the drink is manufactured in Spain or Portugal.

Under European Union law, the use of Sangria in commercial or trade labeling is now restricted under geographical labeling rules. The European Parliament approved new labeling laws by a wide margin in January 2014, protecting indications for aromatized drinks, including Sangria, Vermouth and Gluehwein. Only sangria made in Spain and Portugal is allowed to be sold as "Sangria" in Europe; sangria made elsewhere must be labeled as such (e.g., as "German sangria" or "Swedish sangria").[17]

See also


  1. Penelope Casas, 1,000 Spanish Recipes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014), p. 669.
  2. ASALE, RAE-. "sangría". «Diccionario de la lengua española» - Edición del Tricentenario (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  3. Anne Lindsay Greer, Cuisine of the American Southwest (Gulf, 1995), p. 72.
  4. Wylene Rholetter, "Sangria" in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Alcohol: Social, Cultural, and Historical Perspectives (ed. Scott C. Martin: SAGE Publications, 2014).
  5. Smith, p. 522.
  6. John Ayto, The Glutton's Glossary: A Dictionary of Food and Drink Terms (Routledge, 1990), p. 259.
  7. Hellmich, p. 6.
  8. Casas, p. 669: "The main ingredients are a robust, not-too-expensive wed wine, fruit, sugar, and gaseosa (a mildly sweet seltzer).
  9. Smith, p. 522: "Sangria is traditionally ... sweetened with a little sugar, and flavored with orange juice."
  10. Hellmich, p. 9: "For authenticity, look for a Spanish red Rioja. Sangrias are traditionally made with a juicy, light red wine such as a Rioja Cosecha, or a medium-bodied dry wine, such as a Rioja Reserva."
  11. Smith, p. 522: "Sangria is traditionally made with a full-bodied red wine (such as a Spanish rioja)."
  12. Hellmich, p. 32: "Sangria Blanca (White Wine Sangrias): "White wine sangrias are not as steeped in tradition as those made with red wine, nor are they as common..."
  13. Smith, p. 522: "White sangria is an innovation made using white wine."
  14. Casas, p. 669.
  15. Zahn, Lindsey A. "European Parliament Passes Stricter Legislation for Labeling Sangria Wines". Winelawonreserve. On Reserve: A Wine Law Blog. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  16. "COUNCIL REGULATION (EEC) No 1601/91 of 10 June 1991". Official Journal of the European Communities. 10 June 1991.
  17. "EU: True sangria wine comes from Spain, Portugal". Associated Press. January 14, 2014.

Works cited

  • Mittie Hellmich, Sangria: Fun and Festive Recipes, Chronicle Books, 2004, ISBN 978-0811842907
  • Andrew F. Smith, "Sangria" in The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink (ed. Andrew F. Smith: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 522.
  • Media related to Sangria at Wikimedia Commons
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