Since the first person made wine, there have no doubt been myriad variations on that theme. Additions, subtractions, trials, errors…even wine made from water if you include the wedding at Cana, Jesus’ first and always best miracle. I’m not in the habit of quoting anyone’s scripture on the blog, but this is my very favorite Bible story ever, of course, so bear with me:
John 2:1-12 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Wedding at Cana
2 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.[a] 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
This was a lot of wine, folks. 120 gallons or more. I mean, how many people were drinking? That’s nigh on to 2,000 cups of wine and an average pour is 4-5 ounces. Whoa. Some party. What a big wedding reception, don’t you think? I’m thrilled I didn’t have to foot the bill for it. I also love Mary here. She’s such a mom.
Maybe the next summer there was still a little wine left and as the ripe fruit was picked, someone thought to throw some in a pitcher of wine. They perhaps left it overnight by mistake or–who knows?– to macerate and make sangria for the neighbors. It could’ve happened, but that drink would have had to to be called something else because…
The definition of sangria under European Union law from a 1991 Council Regulation states:
a drink obtained from wine, aromatized with the addition of natural citrus-fruit extracts or essences, with or without the juice of such fruit and with the possible addition of spices, sweetened and with CO2 added, having an acquired alcoholic strength by volume of less than 12 % vol. The drink may contain solid particles of citrus-fruit pulp or peel and its colour must come exclusively from the raw materials used. The description ‘Sangria’ must be accompanied by the words ‘produced in . . .’ followed by the name of the Member State of production or of a more restricted region except where the product is produced in Spain or Portugal. The description ‘Sangria’ may replace the description ‘aromatized wine-based drink’ only where the drink is manufactured in Spain or Portugal.
— Council Regulation (EEC) No 1601/91 of 10 June 1991
In other words, if I lived anywhere in Europe besides Spain or Portugal, I might need to call my drink by another name. Since I live in Colorado, I’ll just call it Margarita Sangria and not worry my little head about it. A pitcher of summery goodness much less alcoholic than regular old margaritas, you can also name it whatever you’d like. I hope you don’t need 2,000 glasses, though, and will soon try this hot weather happiness. (Take some to a Fourth of July picnic in the cooler?) By the way, Sangria should be made with a fairly inexpensive wine, so under $15 per 750 ml bottle (the average size wine bottle) is just about perfect. It’s not the time to splurge when you make…
- 3 cups dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay 1 750ml bottle
- 1/3 cup EACH: tequila and simple syrup*
- ¼ cup Triple Sec—or to taste
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 EACH: sliced lemon lime, and orange
- 4 small strawberries sliced
- 12 ounces chilled club soda
- Mix all ingredients except club soda in a pitcher and cover. Chill 8 hours or overnight. Serve over ice in stemmed wine glasses. Top off each glass with an ounce or two of cold club soda.
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We drank our Margarita Sangria out on the deck last night with our friend John. An ever-changing view included this moment in time when we had a teeny-tiny pitter patter of rain fall softly on the table.