Have you ever had Spanish glühwein? You probably have but it wasn’t called glühwein, it was called sangria. Yet both glühwein and sangria are children to the same parent.
As I wanted to share the delicious sangria recipe below with you I also wanted to enlighten you and myself on sangria’s history. I did a quick Google search and the internet told me that sangria is as Spanish as red wine.
It all started with the Romans. During one of their outings in Europe they invaded the Iberian peninsula and planted grapevines everywhere. As they introduced wine making they introduced wine drinking as well. In those days water was often too dirty to drink, wine was much safer. Since the wine was often of low quality they added spices and sweeteners to improve the taste.
This way of consuming wine spread across Europe and went on for a while. During the middle ages the drink was called hippocras and in the 1700’s and 1800’s it was simply called punch. Things changed since the Romans, water got drinkable and wine got better. Yet there concoction survived in two countries. In Germany it’s called glühwein and in Spain it’s called sangria. Glühwein is usually made with spices and served hot, sangria is served cold and uses fruit. Nonetheless they have the same ancestor.
So is sangria typically Spanish, it’s arguable. But when done well it makes for refreshing summer aperitif. Do stay away from any boxed versions. If you want to try it yourself you can find a great recipe here. It’s easy to make but it takes some time for the flavors to develop. This recipe calls for grilling your fruit which will give the sangria a smoky flavor, almost like glühwein. The sparkling wine adds some pizazz. Enjoy!
[Article by Alexander Eeckhout]