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Sangría is a type of red punch made from red wine and fresh fruit, with an occasional addition of brandy. Nearly every restaurant in Spain serves sangría, and each has its own particular recipe. Sangría, which means bleeding in Spanish, was so named for its bold red color. The red wine–based drink attained a trendy notoriety in 1964 when it was introduced at the Spanish Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair; it soon became a popular, refreshing party drink around the world. It briefly fell out of favor in the 1980s but has had a resurgence in the last decade. Sangría can also be made with white wine, but somehow Sangría Blanco—white blood—sounds curiously anemic. The Argentine sobriquet Clerico seems more fitting.
When making sangría at home, use a good-quality, assertive red wine. A Rioja or other Spanish wine will afford an authentic Spanish flavor, but a decent Burgundy or Cabernet Sauvignon will also work. Chill the wine overnight. Always use fresh fruit, not a mix. Experiment with different fruits—kiwi, passion fruit, or even blood oranges. Be warned that eating too much of the alcohol-soaked fruit may have you seeing elefantes rosados—pink elephants.
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