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National Sangria Day

Sangria, a drink made with red wine and chopped fruits, is celebrated today with National Sangria Day. The word sangria is Spanish for "bleeding" and references the blood-red color of the drink. There are innumerable amount of ways sangria can be made. Dry and fruity wine with low tannins is usually used, but any red wine will do. Rioja, a red wine from Spain, where sangria originated, is an ideal wine, and other wines commonly used are merlot, pinot noir, grenache, tempranillo, and zinfandel. Seasonal fruit is preferred, and it should marinate in the wine for at least a few hours—or a day if possible—before being served. Fruits commonly used are berries, orange slices, and chopped pineapple, apples, nectarines, pears, peaches, mango, and melon.

Brandy, cognac, or other spirits are sometimes added, as is juice, such as orange juice. Simple syrup, sugar, agave nectar, or honey may be added as sweeteners. For those who want a bubbly drink, soda water or citrus soda pop are great additions to sangria. If made with white wine it is called sangria blanca, and a sangria slush is known as a sangria margarita.

During the Middle Ages, a drink called hippocras was made with wine, fruit, sugar, and cinnamon. In England, a drink similar to sangria called Claret Cup Punch was made with Bordeaux wine, which they called Claret, in the 1700s and 1800s. Different variations of sangria may have existed in Europe for the next few centuries, but the consensus is that sangria originated in Spain before it was introduced to the United States at the Spanish Pavilion by Alberto Heras at the 1964 New York World's Fair. It became a favored drink in the 1960s and '70s in the United States. It is made in batches and often served in pitchers, just as it originally was in Spain.

How to Observe National Sangria Day

Celebrate by drinking sangria! Some establishments offer sangria specials today, so keep an eye out for them. Making your own sangria is quite easy. You could pick up a sangria recipe book or try one of these online recipes:

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