Refreshing Ways to Reinvent Sangria Sangria is a popular summer drink in Valencia, but no two recipes of this wine based drink are exactly alike. This post gives a few ways to spice up the traditional recipe and add personal touches. In Valencia, we experience many sweltering summer days, the kind of day where sweat glistens across your body. The first thing that comes to mind is how to cool down. One of the best parts of summer lies in the refreshing drinks that can be enjoyed to sooth the body from the hot weather. When thinking of summer, a few specific drinks come to mind: the mojito, the margarita, and sangria. Personalizing your Sangria The trick with these drinks is to find ways to reinvent them. The easiest way to create differences with sangria is using either white (sangria blanco) or red wine as the base. An interesting less traditional type of sangria is that with a white wine base and a medley of citrus fruit. It is a lot lighter than red wine sangria and the citrus fruit work well in the spring or summer seasons. The best part of sangria is that it’s almost guaranteed that no two are alike. All that this drink calls for is wine, fruit, brandy, and perhaps soda water or juice to dilute it. So the fun lies in mixing around to see what personally works best. One thing that must be standard is that the fruit used should be at the peak of ripeness, ensuring that the juice within the fruit mixes with the wine and visa versa. Sangria for Every Season Sangria is perfect for the summer season but it can also be used in cooler weather as well. A good way to transition this summery drink to an autumn drink is to add in different flavors such as using a cinnamon stick. When adding in spices it’s important to keep in mind how these spices might blend with the wine and fruits used. For this example the cinnamon stick’s flavor works with fruit that’s in its peak in the fall such as the apple, fig, or pear. The wine used should be a red wine with a hearty undertone. When having sangria in summer, it’s vital that ice is excluded in the preparation. Wine and Fruit Pairings The weather is heating up as summer is here and outdoor activities beckon. Heat up the grill, throw on your favorite meat, but don’t forget the wine. As just mentioned one of the most important parts of making sangria is to make sure that the wine and fruit go well together. White wines work well with citrus fruits such as the orange, grapefruit, lemon, and lime. Red wines are heartier but this type can actually work well with more fruits. A few fruits that always seem to go well are strawberries, oranges, apples, pears, and figs. Fruits such as watermelon fall short of being a good fruit to use in sangria due to the fact that it will either become super saturated by the wine or will start to fall apart. A Brief Background on Sangria Sangria’s origins in the US dates back to the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, but as many know it was started in Spain. The word sangre is the Spanish word for blood, and as you can guess it was basically named for the color of the drink. Whether the sangria made is white or dark red, it still remains to this day a great way to quench thirst and cool down on a hot, summer day. So when the sun is beating down creating a pool of sweat around you, remember the refreshing nature of this traditional drink.