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Joana, Farah Trading Co's Portuguese wine, food and travel writer here writing to you from my home in Lieria, Portugal about one of my favorite summer drinks - sangria. In this post we describe the history of Sangria as well as my own personal recipe for Portuguese Sangria which involved another Portuguese favorite, Port wine!

History of Sangria

Dating back to the Romans, sangria has been around for a couple thousand years. Back in the day, water was considered unsafe to drink, so they would add wine, spices and herbs to make it more drinkable. Only many centuries later we start seeing versions closer to what we now call sangria. 

The popularity of sangria is international but its roots spread all the way from Spain to Portugal, where it is common to see people enjoying glasses filled with delicious versions of the drink with and without meals, at home and at restaurants.

Sangria Today in Portugal 

Most of the time it will probably be the traditional red sangria but the last few years have seen exciting new recipes – with white wine, sparkling wine, cider or even beer (although I cannot vouch for this one as I haven’t tried one yet). While the Spanish use vermouth, in Portugal we use Port wine to soften and sweeten the fruit.

You can use a tawny, ruby, white or rosé Port, depending on the sweetness you prefer - a ruby will be sweeter and impart more of a cranberry color, while a tawny Port will be less sweet and impart a bronze color. A white Port will impart no color and less sweetness and a rosé port will give you a nice pink hue with a lot of sweetness. Check out Farah Port shop for more ideas. 

How to Make Portuguese Sangria

So, let’s get to the point and dive into how do you make white wine sangria?! The recipe couldn’t be easier and the result is delicious 10 out of 10 times. All you really need is a big pitcher, ice, wine, fruit, something bubbly, some herbs and some spice.

Start by grabbing a big pitcher. I like to use a sheer one so everyone can see the color, the fruit slices and herbs – it just makes it much more fun and enticing!

Then grab your fruit of choice. Know that classic flavors will include apple, orange and lemons but feel free to include any other fruit you may like or have at home. You can even change the recipe throughout the year considering seasonal fruits like peaches, strawberries or watermelon. For this particular recipe we’re using orange, green apple and peaches.

Cut each fruit into thin slices and throw them inside the pitcher. Now add one or two cinnamon sticks and a tiny glass of white Port and leave it to macerate for half an hour inside the fridge.

Once it’s time to serve, take the pitcher out of the fridge, pour the white wine and add some tonic water for bubble.

white wine sangria pitcher, orange, apple, peach

That’s it! A super fun, easy to make, crowd-pleasing sangria that will definitely taste like summer! You can use any white wine for this recipe but try to use a light, mineral, citric and fresh Portuguese wine like a vinho verde. A vinho verde sangria will be a nice surprise to your summer gatherings.

canned sardines on toast

Sangria Food Pairings

If you're wondering what to pair with white wine sangria, try these canned sardines on tomato sauce on toast, Portuguese style!

Cheers! - Joana


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