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For other uses, see Sangria (disambiguation).
Two pitchers of sangria

Sangria (English /sæŋˈɡrə/, Portuguese pronunciation: [sɐ̃ˈɡɾi.ɐ]; Spanish: sangría [saŋˈɡɾi.a]) is an alcoholic beverage of Spanish origin. A punch, the sangria traditionally consists of red wine and chopped fruit, often with other ingredients such as orange juice or brandy.


The term sangria dates 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; some believe, however, that the word comes from Sanskrit via the Urdu sakkari (sugared wine).[1][2]


"Little is known about the origin of Sangria except that it is Spanish."[3] According to the SAGE Encyclopedia of Alcohol, sangria's origins "cannot be pinpointed exactly, but early versions were popular in Spain, Greece, and England."[1]

Sangaree, a predecessor drink to sangria that was served either hot or cold, likely originated in the Caribbean (West Indies),[4][5] and from there was introduced to America, where it was common beginning in the American colonial era but "largely disappeared in the United States" by the early twentieth century.[6] Sangria as an iced drink was reintroduced to the U.S. by the late 1940s through Hispanic Americans and Spanish restaurants,[7] and came to greater popularity with the 1964 World's Fair in New York.[1][8]

Ingredients and variations[edit]

Penelope Casas describes sangria as "probably the most famous and popular Spanish drink" and writes that it is commonly served in bars, restaurants, chiringuitos, and homes throughout Spain.[9]

Sangria recipes vary widely, with many regional distinctions.[10] Traditional recipes features red wine mixed with fruits, such as pineapple, peaches, nectarines, berries, apples, pears, or melon,[11] sweetened with sugar and orange juice.[12][13] Spanish Rioja red wine is traditional.[14][15] Sangria blanca (sangria with white wine) is a more recent innovation.[16][17] For sangria blanca, Casas recommends dry white wines such as a Rueda, Jumilla, or Valdepeñas.[18]

Some sangria recipes, in addition to wine and fruit, feature additional ingredients, such as brandy, sparkling water, or a flavored liqueur.[19]

European Union law[edit]

Under European Union law, the use of the word sangria in labels 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").[20]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Wylene Rholetter, "Sangria" in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Alcohol: Social, Cultural, and Historical Perspectives (ed. Scott C. Martin: SAGE Publications, 2014).
  2. ^ Hellmich, p. 6.
  3. ^ Anne Lindsay Greer, Cuisine of the American Southwest (Gulf, 1995), p. 72.
  4. ^ Smith, p. 522.
  5. ^ John Ayto, The Glutton's Glossary: A Dictionary of Food and Drink Terms (Routledge, 1990), p. 259.
  6. ^ Smith, p. 522.
  7. ^ Smith, p. 522.
  8. ^ Smith, p. 522.
  9. ^ Penelope Casas, 1,000 Spanish Recipes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014), p. 669.
  10. ^ Hellmich, p. 6.
  11. ^ Hellmich, p. 6.
  12. ^ Casas, p. 669: "The main ingredients are a robust, not-too-expensive wed wine, fruit, sugar, and gaseosa (a mildly sweet seltzer).
  13. ^ Smith, p. 522: "Sangria is traditionally ... sweetened with a little sugar, and flavored with orange juice."
  14. ^ 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."
  15. ^ Smith, p. 522: "Sangria is traditionally made with a full-bodied red wine (such as a Spanish rioja)."
  16. ^ 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..."
  17. ^ Smith, p. 522: "White sangria is an innovation made using white wine."
  18. ^ Casas, p. 669.
  19. ^ Hellmich, p. 6.
  20. ^ "EU: True sangria wine comes from Spain, Portugal". Associated Press. January 14, 2014. 
  21. ^ ZAHN, LINDSEY A. "European Parliament Passes Stricter Legislation for Labeling Sangria Wines". winelawonreserve. On Reserve: A Wine Law Blog. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  22. ^ "COUNCIL REGULATION (EEC) No 1601/91 of 10 June 1991". Official Journal of the European Communities. 10 June 1991. 

Works cited[edit]

  • Mittie Hellmich, Sangria: Fun and Festive Recipes (Chronicle Books, 2004).
  • Andrew F. Smith, "Sangria" in The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink (ed. Andrew F. Smith: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 522.

External links[edit]