December 20th is National Sangria Day! Sangria is a wine punch created by combining wine with sliced fruits, sweeteners and other alcohols. Oranges, lemons, limes, apples, berries, and grapes are commonly used for the fruit ingredient, while honey, sugar, syrup, and orange juice can act as a sweetener. With so many potential ingredients, there are thousands of possible variations of the fruity drink, all with varying degrees of potency. With a sangria for everyone, it’s no wonder the drink is so popular in restaurants, bars, and pubs across the world.
While researching today’s “unofficial” I came across a site claiming that a 75 year old ban on sangria was lifted in 2008 in my home state of Virginia. Apparently there was a law forbidding the mixing of wine or beer with spirits. This totally sounds like a crazy law that could get passed in Virginia, but I might do a little more poking around to get the whole story on about it. I know for a fact that I had sangria in a local restaurant in 2005, one of the two times I’ve had this drink before tonight. The other time I enjoyed the beverage was during my bridal shower, when my lovely Matron of Honor made a giant pitcher of the sweet drink from scratch! Unlike me, before tonight Chris had never had sangria. It’s very rare that we find an alcohol I’ve tried that he hasn’t!
To celebrate National Sangria Day Chris and I stopped by our local Ruby Tuesday for a couple refreshing sangrias, thus introducing him to the world of this tasty beverage. Ruby Tuesday recently added a bunch of sangrias to their drink menu so we had several varieties to choose from — red, white, strawberry, or holiday. Chris decided to try the holiday flavor, which had a very cinnamon-y smell and taste, and I opted for the ‘Red’, which had a berry flavor. The drinks arrived quickly, and kept us busy while we waited for appetizers we’d ordered for a quick dinner. We both tried the Holiday and Red flavors and I was a little surprised to find that I liked them as much as I did. (I’m not much of a drinker, but I especially don’t like wine). I think it took Chris some time getting used to the chunky fruit pulp in his drink, but in return for his efforts he had a tree in his drink! Okay, so it was more like a twig, but his Holiday sangria was decorated with a sprig of some sort of evergreen and it looked really cute. And come to think of it, Chris was looking particularly cute too, after my glass of greedily slurped sangria. But, then again, he always does.
Tomorrow we’ll be practicing a little holiday un-cheer in honor of Humbug Day!