Sangria….Portugese or Spanish, it’s spring!

Sunnies, summer, sunshine, slip n’ slide and Sangria. Time to look forward to a break from the snow. It’s time to talk beverages for the sunshine.

 While sitting on a patio or entertaining friends, sipping on a Sangria is a fantastic way to enjoy summer.  This cocktail is designed for sharing is a refreshing blend of citrus fruits with fermented grapes and hints of sweetness from eau de vie .

Spain and Portugal serve as top consumers and originators of this fine libation. Naturally the neighboring countries have exchanged recipes over time. Creating so many variations of summer fun.  One great find is that the most common grape in Portuguese and Spanish Sangria is Tempranillo or Tinta Roriz. 

Here is another great cocktail with for some Spanish Portuguese inspiration.


Sangria loosely means “Bloodletting” in both the Spanish and Portuguese origins or the word.

Rioja and Priorat are the two regions of Spain with the driest red wines and interestingly the only two regions that have DOCa designation (Denominacion de Origen Calificada), which is the highest possible wine designation within Spain.  In Rioja the grape grown the most is Tempranillo. It is a thicker-skinned grape with lower acidity, exhibiting notes of cherry and plum. No wonder it is used in this cocktail.

A Spanish version of SANGRIA

750 ml dry red wine (Rioja)

½ cup brandy

½ cup orange juice

1/8 superfine granulated sugar

1 orange sliced

1 lemon

1 ½ limes

1 apple

1 cup soda water

Sangria can have anywhere from 4-12% alcohol content, so consume with caution!


In Portugal, the dry red wine sought after for Sangria comes from the Douro region.  This is the only region to have a DOC classification, falling into similar regional classifications that the Rioja and Priorat do in Spain. It is most well known for making Port however the dry wines coming from this region are quiet gems. The most common varietals include Touriga Nacional , Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriza (Tempranillo)

A Portuguese version of SANGRIA

750ml dry Portuguese red wine

1 Cup of chilled Orange Juice

1/8 Cup of brandy (Grand Marnier)

1/8 cup of triple sec

½ orange

1 lime

5 white grapes halved

pitcher with ice 

The word SANGRIA on labels is now restricted by European Parliament to only be made in Spain and Portugal as of January 2014


  • 750 ml – Faustino Rivero Ulecia White Label 2009 Tempranillo

  • 375 ml – Calvados – rich fruit , light wood, toasted nut hint of brioche

  • 1 orange, sliced

  • 1 orange, juiced

  • 1 apple, cubed

  • ½ lime, juiced

  • 1 cinnamon stick, cracked

We were after a bit more fruit so we added apples, which is a Spanish flair. Calvados, French based and used in some sought after cocktails was the perfect fit as brandy.

*Combine, allow to rest, and serve.