We’re making the perfect sangria recipe to celebrate National Sangria Day. While I have never understood why National Sangria Day is in December, you know I will celebrate it whenever it is….so CHEERS to National Sangria Day!
National Sangria Day
I tend to make most of my pitchers of sangria during the warmer weather months. There’s just something about sitting outside and enjoying a pitcher of sparkling sangria.
But, the holiday is celebrated across the country on December 20th, so in honor or that, we’re going to make a sparkling cranberry sangria that is perfect for the holidays. Trust us, you will want to make this to help make wrapping presents more enjoyable or for the crowd you’re hosting.
History of Sangria
- There is no standard recipe for sangria in Spain. It’s basically considered a wine punch with fruit.
- The first sangrias were likely watered-down mixes of wine, water, herbs, and spices because the water was unsafe to drink so the Romans were doing their best to kill off any bacteria and disguise the taste.
- During the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, sangria was a featured drink at a pavilion sponsored by Spain, kicking off the sangria craze in the U.S.
Sangria in Spain
When I studied in Spain back in 1999, I was first introduced to sangria and fell in love. I quickly learned, however, that not all sangria was made the same and there were some really good sangrias and some not so great ones.
I definitely took some lessons from the ones I loved the most and brought those tips back with me, but I was curious, since sangria is such a well known Spanish drink.
Some places you get a true homemade sangria where the fruit has been marinating in the wine and brandy for at least 2 hours and then other places you’d get some wine with ice cubes and a lemon slice.
So why the drastic difference between the type of sangrias you will drink? It’s quite simple, sangria is not something the locals are drinking, it’s really a tourist drink. So the establishment has to really evaluate If it’s worth the time and energy to make a truly homemade sangria or not.
And side note, if you’re up in Barcelona territory, they will tell you that they make sangria down in the southern part of Spain to disguise their bad wine.
Sangria Recipe Tips
- Use simple syrup instead of sugar, it’s so much easier to stir and mix together. We have been loving ROOT 23 simple syrups and made so many sangria recipes with them so be sure to check them out.
- Refrigerate the sangria for at least 2 hours to let all the flavors meld together and allow your fruit to marinate. This is a key step and cannot be skipped.
- Sangria is typically topped with 12 ounces of club soda or sparkling water, but in the Bubbly Side of Life world, we top our sangria with sparkling wine. Typically we use a brut sparkling wine or brut cava so we don’t add any more sweetness. (You know I don’t like overly sweet drinks.)
- If you’re making a traditional red sangria (we have an amazing recipe for that), pear is the key fruit ingredient you need to add.
Santa’s Sparkling Cranberry Sangria
- 1 c Cranberries
- 2 oz Brandy
- 2 oz Simple Syrup (Root 23 Vanilla Ginger Simple Syrup or Root 23 Cranberry Apple Spice Simple Syrup)
- 1 Bottle of Cranberry Wine
- Cranberry bubbly, Sec Bubbly, or Cranberry Ginger Ale
- Rosemary sprig
- In your favorite pitcher, combine, cranberries, brandy, simple syrup and cranberry wine. Stir well.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight.
- Serve each glass topping it with your choice of bubbly or cranberry ginger ale.
- Top with frozen cranberries and garnish with a rosemary sprig.
We do love sangria recipes and have been creating so many over the last few years. It’s our favorite drink to make for a get together whether it’s just a couple people or for a whole crowd.
As I said, we love making sangria in the summer so check out these 5 Amazingly Refreshing Summer Sangria Recipes.
Last year we celebrated National Sangria Day with these 3 Bubbly Sangria Favorites.
If you want high quality, clean, all natural simple syrups to add to your sangria recipe, ROOT 23 Simple Syrups are perfect and you can save 10% when you use code BUBBLY at checkout. Check out our full blog post on ROOT 23 Simple Syrups for even more recipe inspiration.
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