The origins of this seasonal beverage can be as misty as the drink itself when the fruit wedges and floating spices are stirred by an appropriate length spoon.
It has been argued amongst some English-speaking communities that the drink originated somewhere in the British Bahamas, but outside this colonial frame of mind it is considered that Sangria first appeared from the middle of the 19th century during the massive emigration from Iberia to Argentina - where the drink still enjoys a popularity today. In Argentina, the new immigrants were thought to have introduced the cooler and diluted version of a glass of wine to help cope with the long hot summers and the warmer climate.
On the mainland of Spain, Sangria is served everywhere during the summer, and throughout the whole year in the warmer southern provinces. In Spanish, sangre means blood and it is from this description the name derives. A version called 'Sangria a cava' exits in Catalonia which uses a white wine instead of a red - but typically, Sangria is made with red wine, using fresh, seasonal fruit and some fizzy water. Like all the best recipes, the ingredients derive from the left-overs of other meals and it is often the use of wines from the day before - or of the cheaper sort - that end up in a Sangria recipe.
Fizzy water or fizzy lemonade.
Spices according to taste.
Lemon juice (not the fruit).
Oranges and other fruit cut into chunks or wedges.
Pour the wine into a pitcher. Add the squeezed lemon juice. Once the remaining fruit has been cut, add it to the mixture and leave it to stand for a few hours. A word of caution: Do not wait until the end to add the fruit, for it will then be purely ornamental. It is also not recommended to add the fizzy water until the moment of serving; otherwise, it will go flat before drinking.
Don't be surprised if occasionally you are served an extra strong version; some establishments serve a variety of Sangria with vermouth or other spirits.
Serve in a transparent jug, with plenty of ice and a large spoon to stir or fish out the particularly tasty bits of fruit.
Finally, hang a twist of orange peel over the side for presentation. Take the pitcher, a tall tumbler and a four-legged friend outside under the shade of a tree and sip this refreshing summer-time drink, whilst tossing a stick, occasionally, in the direction of a bored Hound.
For more Authentic Summer Survival Recipes, see the whole range in Inside the Tortilla including the history and preparation for Gazpacho, Pippirana, Salmorejo, Almejas, Tomatoe Alinado, Pulpo a la Gallego, Cogollos a la Cordobesa and many more.
If like me, summer arrives one unexpected morning by slapping you on the face with slice of burnt toast, compelling you to change not just your trouser length, but your diet, drinking habits, sleeping postures and even the rooms you inhabit in your house - then you may be keen to discover the secret to summer survival is far more simple than you think. Don't flee back to the UK just so you can pull on those thigh length socks again - hold on! There is a solution and like many good things in life, it begins with the letter P.
Nope, its not Podemos, nor Pablo - though I understand why you may think so - it is in fact Pippirana - translated directly as "Froggy-pee -salad" - as mouth-watering a translation as any I could imagine
Look for it emerging during this early summer days - wherever there is a menu del día. If not, just enter you local eating establishment, cough loudly to attract the attention of the waiter who is probably watching the telly, and say in a loud and clear voice: ¡oiga! Jefe, una racion de pipirana!” .This will empower your Spanish in a way nothing short of an ear transplant from Miguel Cervantes would do.
If, you are unfortunate enough not to live in an ares where the ´P´salad is served - then fret not, for below is the gazpachomOnk's extracted recipe from the local supplier. Go forth and reproduce...
Tomatoes: mature, squashy and preferably home grown.
Couple of pepinos: (small cucumbers) peeled, cut into cubes.
An onion or two diced.
Green pepper diced.
Vinegar, olive oil, cumin and salt.
Either a hard-boiled egg or tuna as topping.
There are no instructions as such, you just cut it all up and lob everything into bowl, and then mix it all together. The secret ingredient is not an item, rather it is in the process. Like all the best foods, patience in preparation is the key and in the case of pippirana you should leave it for an hour or so in the fridge to absorb all the flavours before serving it.
If you make enough to last a couple of days, you will gleefully notice that the vegetables soften, the flavours intensify and your body will now be able to withstand the temperatures of a Sahara sandstorm.
For more Authentic Summer Survival Recipes, see the whole range in Inside the Tortilla including the history and preparation for Gazpacho, Salmorejo, Almejas, Tomatoe Alinado, Pulpo a la Gallego, Cogollos a la Cordobesa and many more.
Want the whole Spain Bargain Bundle to read this Summer? Chortle away to your neighbours irritation with the gazpachomOnks special Summer deal: 5 books for €10.
Check it out here before the heat is upon you.