Today is National Sangria Day. I know, we typically think summer when it comes to fruity wine spirits, we think warm weather. Yet December is filled with reasons to raise a glass in celebration.
Sangria is typically created from red wine, fruit juices, soda water for that fizz, bits of fruit and even a splash of brandy. There are even Sangria Pitches made especially for this wine cocktail that has a pinched lip to prevent fruits or other solids from plopping into the glass and making a splash. While no one is exactly sure of the origins of Sangria, we know that it was first created in Spain or Portugal.
At the New York World’s Fair in 1964, the Spanish Pavilion offered Sangria as a refreshing taste of its culture. And while most Sangrias are made with red wine, a more modern rendition utilizes a white wine. This is known as Sangria Blanco. In Spain, they even produce a sparkling white wine version of the drink.
Throughout Spain, nearly every restaurant has its own spin on their Sangria Recipe. Just as most home bartenders take liberty with fun and refreshing renditions.
There is something about how light sparkles through a Pinot Grigio that I find magical. And this time of the year should be filled with sparkle and magic, don’t you think?
Sangría Blanca de Invierno
(White Winter Sangria)
1 Pomegranate, seeds only
1 Honeycrisp Apple
1 bottle Pinot Grigio
3/4 cup White Cranberry Juice
2 cups Frozen Cranberries, divided
4 (1-inch) Ginger Cubes
3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary
5 Star Anise Pods
3/4 cup Ginger Ale
Cocktail Skewers as needed
Sugar as needed
Chill a pitcher and have at the ready.
Remove all the seeds from the pomegranate. (Or buy packaged seeds). Set aside. Core apple, cut into chunks, set aside.
Pour wine and cranberry juice into the chilled pitcher. Gently add apples, pomegranate seeds and 1 cup of frozen cranberries. Plot ginger cubes into the sangria. Add rosemary sprigs and star anise. Chill well for several hours.
Just before serving, tilt the pitcher, slowly pour in the ginger ale to retain the bubbles.
Skewer remaining frozen cranberries, then roll in sugar and serve as a garnish to the glasses. Brandy glasses make for a nice presentation.