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The Truth About 'Traditional Sangria' in Spanish Bars & Restaurants

Sangria in Spain: What Spanish Bar Staff Don't Want You to Know.

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You can always spot the tourists in a bar in southern Spain - they'll be the ones drinking the sangria. Maybe you feel 'Spanish' drinking it, maybe you just really like the taste; but if you wouldn't dream of drinking Sangria at a bar back home, read on for why you shouldn't buy it in a Spanish bar either.

More: Sangria in Spain

What Sangria Means to the Spanish

To the Spanish, sangria is a party drink and is there for one reason - to get you drunk very cheaply. There is no magical recipe to make perfect sangria. To make real sangria, you take the cheapest red wine you can get, the cheapest spirits in the supermarket (brandy, whiskey, anything will do) and the cheapest fruit that you have lying about - usually apples and oranges and peaches that are too mushy and old to eat. If it tastes gross (which it usually will) add something to take the taste away - sugar and cinnamon usually works.

See a classic Sangria Recipe

Why You Shouldn't Order Sangria in a Bar in Spain

Sangria is to the Spanish what punch is to most of the English-speaking world: a great social lubricant at a big house party but something you wouldn't dream of ordering in a bar. So, bar sangria is aimed almost exclusively at tourists and is charged appropriately - bar owners know foreigners will pay over the odds for sangria as they see it as being 'Spanish'. You often won't actually be getting Sangria but tinto de verano with a bit of fruit thrown in. You're better off making it yourself.

 

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