Every year on December 20, we celebrate National Sangria Day - a day dedicated to the fruity drink that is one of Spain’s claims to fame in the area of the culinary arts! The Spanish have spiked the punch and we’re all here for it. Whether you prefer it red or white, a tempting chilled Sangria is no doubt refreshing, and instantly transports you to the aesthetic beaches of Spain in the Summer.

The history of National Sangria day

Back in time, when the Romans first settled in Spain almost 2,000 years ago, they realized the water was dangerous to drink due to bacteria, so they fortified it with alcohol to make water drinkable and safe. In this situation, necessity led to creativity, and many people's lives have changed for the better.

The first sangrias (whose name originates from Sangre, which means "blood," and refers to their dark crimson color) were most likely extremely watered-down blends of wine and water, together with herbs and spices. The Romans basically added anything they could think of to kill bacteria in the water and also disguise the taste of mediocre table wine.

Then, for a long time, winemaking and sangria-making flourished in Spain until the 700s when the Islamic Moors took over. This put a pause to the local’s activities as the Spanish wine industry collapsed. It wasn't until the Moors were defeated over 800 years later that Spaniards were once again able to openly enjoy their sangria-making activities.

But the popularity of this drink did not stop there. Made using French grapes, Sangria gradually became popular in England and France in the 18th and 19th centuries. Then, in 1964, Sangria was brought to the general public in the United States, thanks to the impact of the New York City World's Fair, and Americans have had a taste for it ever since.

Sangria's variations have tended to evolve through time. The type of fruit used, the presence or absence of carbonation, and the type of spirits used, if any, are the most common differences. While any fruit can be used, the idea one should be in season to highlight the drink's flavor as well as the type of wine used. You can enjoy your Sangria punch with different spices, wines, or carbonated water, as well as a dash of sugar or honey! Allow the freshly cut fruits to marinate in the wine punch for a few hours or soak them overnight to enjoy their authentic flavor. With the health benefits of wine and the dash of fruits, no wonder that Sangria packs a healthy punch when enjoyed in moderation!

Sangria has evolved into a long-standing and well-loved tradition. And, despite its origins in Spain and Portugal, it is now loved all over the world. In the summer, it's excellent as an iced outside treat, and in the winter, it's a great way to warm up indoors. In a word, National Sangria Day honors this historic drink that once quenched the thirst of Romans and is still one of the most popular drinks for any occasion!

Interesting facts about National Sangria day that you may not know

Here are some fascinating facts to spice up your Sangria Day celebrations!

  • Traditionally, 'Sangria' was made using 'Rioja wine.' However, in recent years, any dry red wine has been allowed to be used to make the 'Sangria'! Sangria punch made with white wine is called Sangria Blanca.
  • Since 2014, you can only use the term "sangria" if the product is sold in Spain or Portugal. According to European law, in order to be given the label “Sangria”, the punch must be made in either Spain or Portugal and be low in alcohol, which is less than 12% by volume. At the same time, it must be called with the state name if it is created elsewhere. For example, a Sangria sold in Germany must be referred to as "German Sangria."
  • During a world's fair in New York City in 1964, Alberto Heras, a Spanish restaurant manager brought 'Sangria' to America. The Spanish drink, as well as the entrées, were so popular that after the fair, Heras had decided to stay in New York and opened another restaurant called "The Spanish Pavilion" dedicated to the drink.
  • Mangria is one of the popular variants of 'Sangria was created by Adam Carolla, a comedian by trade! To make it, he used three parts red wine, one part orange juice, and one part vodka!
  • Sangria is a great drink to pair with seafood dishes, Thai cuisines, spicy Mexican food, or a plate of cheese.

How to celebrate National Sangria day

Celebrations for National Sangria Day are pretty simple: gather some friends, pour everyone a glass of Sangria, then kick back and enjoy the true taste of the drink! The pandemic may leave you to put off some of your traveling plans, but it doesn't mean that you can not observe National Sangria day with full of joy right at your home. Here's how to properly celebrate the day:

Enjoy a glass of Sangria

There are almost as many sangria recipes as there are sangria drinkers, and there are plenty of delicious sangria ideas to explore. Wine, fruit, honey, and sugar are the most prevalent ingredients in practically any sangria. However, the recipe may be adjusted to suit your preferences: sparkling water can be added to give the drink more fizz, and fruit can be kept out of the glasses with a strainer. To give the drink an extra-rich flavor, some of the fruit can be mashed or shredded and then swirled in.

While citrus and berries are the most common sangria ingredients, peach, pineapple, mango, melon, and even apples are also good options. To get the most out of the natural flavors the fruits offer, marinate them in the wine a day ahead of time, or at least a few hours before serving. 

Although brandy is typically used to increase the alcohol content of sangria, you can swap a couple of shots of your favorite liquor or a splash of orange juice mixed with a liqueur such as Triple Sec. Consider soda water or citrus-flavored soda pop for those who want to add bubbles. Also, some people like to sweeten their sangria with honey or sugar.

While connoisseurs recommend using a high-quality red wine like Rioja to acquire the true Spanish flavor, many people agree that you should just pick something you enjoy. Affordable wines are ideal for this drink; after all, disguising the flavor of cheap wine is why sangria was invented in the first place!

Below is the easiest Sangria recipe for your National Sangria day:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium apple, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 medium orange, sliced into small pieces, plus more for garnish
  • 3-4 tbsp of brown sugar 
  • 3/4 cup of orange juice 
  • 1/3 cup of brandy 
  • 3 oz of red wine. 9 Lives Carmenere with its balanced spiced notes is your best option to enhance your Sangria drinking experience.
  • 1 cup of small ice cubes to chill

Instructions:

  1. In a large pitcher, mix the apples, oranges, and sugar for 45 seconds with a muddler or wooden spoon.
  2. Add the orange juice and brandy and muddle for another 30 seconds to blend.
  3. Stir in the red wine, then taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.  To blend, stir everything together.
  4. To chill, add ice and whisk once more. Serve with extra ice cubes if desired. Decorate your Sangria with orange segments as a garnish (optional).

Try the different recipes of Sangria

Besides the traditional recipe, you’re free to enjoy some ‘Sangria’ adventure with homies or friends this day! Here’s some Sangria twist you can try:

Sweet Tea Sangria for porch sipping

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz Sauvignon white wine. 9 Lives Sauvignon Blanc white wine, for instance. This is our best wine recommendation with intense citrus and grapefruit aromas.
  • 4 oz sweet tea
  • 1/4 oz triple sec
  • 2 cups of sliced frozen peaches
  • 2 cups of fresh raspberries
  • Fresh mint, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a pitcher, combine white wine, sweet tea, triple sec, sliced frozen peaches, and fresh raspberries and stir the container until all ingredients are combined. Refrigerate the Sangria mixture until it is chilled.
  2. Serve your drink with a sprig of mint.

Piña Colada Sangria to transport you to the tropics

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz of white wine
  • 2 cups of pineapple juice
  • 1 cup of Seltzer
  • 1 cup of chopped pineapple
  • 2 oz of Bacardi Gold rum
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cherries

Instructions:

  1. In a large pitcher, combine white wine, seltzer, pineapple juice, chopped pineapple, rum, and cherries. Stir well and refrigerate until your Sangria is chilled.
  2. Garnish with some chopped pineapple and serve

Cold Brew Sangria

You won't need the milk or cream with this coffee Sangria because the fruit, Cointreau, and simple syrup already sweeten it up.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. cold brew (or iced coffee is okay too)
  • 2 oz. Patron XO Cafe tequila
  • 1 oz. Cointreau (you can switch to other orange-flavored liqueur)
  • 1 tbsp. of simple syrup
  • 1 medium orange, sliced
  • 1 fresh lime, sliced
  • 1 medium apple, diced

Instructions:

  1. Combine the cold brew, Cointreau, tequila, and simple syrup in a large pitcher, stirring it until well mixed. Add orange slices, lime, and diced apple, and refrigerate from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Pour the drink into glasses filled with ice and serve.

Watermelon Sangria with its fruity watermelon hue

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of cubed watermelon
  • 3 oz of Gato Negro Chardonnay wine with its tropical aromas and notes of peach, banana, and wood
  • 1 oz rum
  • 2 oz lime juice
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • Some thin lime slices, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a blender, combine watermelon cubes, Moscato wine, rum, lime juice, and zest, and add sugar and blend until the mixture is smooth. Refrigerate until it is chilled.
  2. Garnish your Sangria glasses with lime slices and serve.

Blueberry Lemonade Sangria

If you like spiked lemonade, try this lovely purple-pink sangria, which can be made with rosé wine. In this recipe, we use Moscato Rose, which is a fresh and fragrant, low alcohol Australian rosé wine. It has perfect aromas and flavors of ripe raspberry, strawberry, and candied fruit with subtle pear and sherbet notes to give you a good mouthfeel.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz Jacob's Creek Dots Moscato Rose 
  • 1 cup of Simply Lemonade with Blueberry
  • 1/4 cup of tequila
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of chilled seltzer

Instructions:

  1. In a pitcher, combine rose wine, lemonade, and tequila and stir until all ingredients are combined.
  2. Add blueberries, lemon slices, and top off with seltzer and serve.

Include ‘Sangria punch to your Christmas dinner menu

National Sangria day takes place just days before Christmas. How about adding this festive drink to the table this Christmas dinner! With many things and tasks to take care of while hosting a Christmas dinner, the various versions of Sangria are a savior to satisfy your different guests.

You might even throw a 'Sangria' tasting party to mark the occasion! Invite your friends and family (to a virtual party, if you wish) to celebrate your friendships and this historic wine punch.

Use social media to show your love for 'Sangria'!

Celebrate the day by informing friends and family about 'Sangria' on social media and encouraging them to join in the festivities! To post on social media flatform this National Sangria day, use the hashtags #NationalSangriaDay and #SangriaDay.

Final words with Drinkies.ph

National Sangria Day is observed on December 20th each year to honor the dazzling blend of wine and freshly cut fruits that suit any palette this holiday season! Coming in different versions, it is loved by people for the sparkling and refreshing drink it is.

Purchasing quality ingredients for your Sangria day may be a daunting task, especially in this complicated situation when many liquor stores have to set to close because of the pandemic.

Put your mind at ease as Drinkies.ph is here to help you solve all of your difficulties. Drinkies.ph is the official provider of top-rated winemakers throughout the world, and it is powered and created by Heineken Philippines. We have a large wine selection that includes whites, reds, roses, and sparkling wines, so there's always something to fit your taste. Furthermore, there are also other spirits and mixers available here at our store for you to choose from.

Most importantly, you'll be able to spend your National Sangria day with your loved ones without having to rush to the store to acquire your favorite bottles. All you have to do now is place your order online, and sit back for us to deliver your items straight to your front door in less than 60 minutes. Cheers!