Sangria : the tapas tipple!

30 Aug

I have just realised that although I have quite a few ideas for tapas, one thing which we really must consider is what to be drinking whilst making said tapas. Cooking and preparing food always needs some form of tipple in hand, right? And what better tapas tipple than Sangria!?

The first drink PD and I ordered when in Barca was a sangria. We were later to realise that generally the only people we saw actually drinking sangria were tourists, and I hate looking like a tourist! The reason for this is because around the area sangria is really a cheap studenty punch – it’s supposedly cheap red wine laced with brandy or vodka, a potent punch sure you get you a bit squiffy. But what of the history? ‘Sangria’ comes from ‘sangre’ which means ‘blood’. When the Romans arrived in Spain around 200BC (I believe), not only did they plant loads of wonderful vineyards, but also were pretty hell bent on killing a bunch of people to get their land. Apparently they were quite fond of blood because when they started making wine out of the many red grapes, they thought it was only fitting to call it sangria – blood. Nice. It was only a matter of time before they started adding some of the delicious fruits to the wine to make a nice fruity, alcoholic punch, and so sangria as we know it today was born. Most families and restaurants have their own recipes for sangria (and indeed, you can find white wine or cava versions too), so PD and I experimented a bit to find one which we enjoyed. This is what we came up with:     

  • 1 bottle cheap-ish red wine (we used a nice local Rioja)
  • ~500 ml ginger ale
  • ~400 ml sprite or equivalent
  • 1 lime sliced
  • 1 large orange sliced
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • loads of ice!


We didn’t add anything else as we didn’t have any to hand. I would perhaps have added a splash of brandy if we’d had some. I’d be more inclined to go for brandy as it would at least add a some flavour – vodka seems a little pointless unless you’re simply looking to get your mates completely squiddled and end the night with your head in the loo. You can also add a handful of pineapple or some mint leaves, or a dash of sugar (personally I don’t think it needs it, especially with the sprite). Simply mix everything together and serve it up! Experiment with the quantities, everyone has their own personal tastes. I intend to try out some more varieties myself…for research purposes only, of course…….  


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