You miiiight have noticed by now that Birchbox staffers have an ever-so-slight obsession with food—from colorful veggies and delicious smoothies to festive cookies and fun cocktails. That’s why we’ve enlisted our in-house kitchen geek Nicole to share her cooking tips every week: seasonal ingredients, nifty tools, and must-try recipes.
The famous wine punch of Spain, sangria is the savior of outdoor gatherings—and an excellent alternative to beer. An icy stew of fruit and wine topped with just a splash of soda water, this refreshing tipple comes in many forms—all of them divine on a hot summer day.
Sangria and other boozy punches came about because of poor water quality back in the day. Alcohol was a form of protection against bacteria-induced sickness (as well as a cure for cholera, the common cold, or labor pains). And in Spain, wine was the alcohol of choice, thanks to the country’s long history of wine production. (The first grape seeds in the area date back to 3000 BC.)
During the 1964 World’s Fair, Americans were introduced to sangria and quickly adopted it.
Sangre means ‘blood’ in Spanish, and traditional sangria is made with a hearty, earthy red wine (like a Rioja). When it’s this hot, I prefer a white sangria with refreshing fruits like apples and pears. But there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to making your own. Citrus fruits or orange juice will add a little pop and I like to throw Chambord, a raspberry liqueur, into the mix.
The only way to go awry with a sangria recipe is to not save any for yourself. Keep cool and enjoy!
1 red apple
1 green apple
1 cup strawberries or raspberries
3 ounces Chambord
Sugar to taste—I used 3 tablespoons dissolved in just a bit of warm water
1 bottle white wine
Lemon-lime soda to serve
Slice fruit and combine in a pitcher. Add Chambord and sugar. Pour bottle of wine in and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1-3 hours (overnight is ideal). To serve, scoop fruit into glasses, pour Sangria over top, and finish with soda. Kick back on your lawn chair and enjoy.
Take your sangria al fresco with our favorite no-shatter glasses from Govino.