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 - Portuguese sangria. I am going to walk you through the history of Sangria as well as my own personal recipe for Portuguese Sangria which involves another Portuguese favorite, Port wine!
History of Sangria
Sangria dates back to the Roman times. At the time water was considered unsafe to drink, so the Romans would would add wine, spices and herbs to make it more drinkable. Only many centuries later did we start seeing versions closer to what we now call "sangria".
The popularity of sangria is international but its roots spread 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
While the Spanish use vermouth, in Portugal we use Port wine to soften and sweeten the fruit in sangria. The most common Portuguese sangria is the traditional red sangria.
Yet, over the last few years new recipes using Portuguese white wine, sparkling wine, cider and even beer (although I cannot vouch for this one as I haven’t tried one yet).
You can use a Tawny Port, a Ruby Port, a white Port or rosé Port, depending on the sweetness you prefer - a Ruby Port 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. Never hear of rosé Port? Check our our rosé Port 101 article here.
How to Make Portuguese Sangria
So, let’s get to the point and dive into how do you make Portuguese 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 spices.
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 will use oranges, 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 or rosé 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.
That’s it! A super fun, easy to make, crowd-pleasing Portuguese 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 white wine.
Sangria Food Pairings
If you're wondering what to pair with Portuguese white wine sangria, try these canned sardines on tomato sauce on toast, Portuguese style!
Cheers! - Joana
EASY CROWD PLEASER WHITE WINE SANGRIA - WITH PORT!
Joana Rute Carmo
Sangria is always a winner drink to serve to guests! It 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. A super fun, easy to make, crowd-pleasing sangria that will definitely
taste like summer!
Cut the peach in half, remove the pit and then slice each half in slices.
Thinly slice the orange and the apple and cut each slice in half. Carefully remove any seeds.
Gently place the fruit into the pitcher.
Add the cinnamon stick, the mint (if used) and the Port and mix them around. Leave to macerate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
When it's time to serve, remove from the fridge and add the white wine and the sparkling water.
Add ice cubes to each glass, so they don't dilute the sangria in the picther.
You can do the same version with red wine and it will still be delicious! Use a fresh and fruity red wine from Portugal.