Sangria: A History Lesson

Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant has long been famous for its sangria – even grabbing the 2013 Guinness Book of World Records for Largest Pitcher of Sangria. But, there’s more to the delicious wine-based drink than meets the eye. Sangria, historically meaning blood in Spanish, has a history dating back more than 1,500 years.

Historically, sangria was a name given to wine mixed with whatever is nearby, but nowadays the drink is commonly made with Tempranillo and other wines from the Rioja region with added citrus fruits.

Early Greeks and Romans mixed their wine with sugar, spices, and whatever was on hand (sound familiar?). It was called “hippocras,” and it was sometimes heated like mulled wine. Hippocras is likely the common ancestor of both sangria and mulled wine.

The United States began its love affair with the Spanish concoction at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. Spain’s sponsored pavilion featured the drink and Americans have been thirsty for the drink ever since.

Today, under European law, all sangria must be made in Spain or Portugal and have less than 12 percent alcohol by volume. We all know, though, that the best sangria is made in-house at Ceviche.

See you on the patio for a fresh pitcher!

What is that behind the bar?

I am so excited to share with you a new toy that our bartenders are playing with at Ceviche. Some of you may have already seen a strange looking contraption behind our bar.  We have purchased a 3-tier cold brew coffee infuser. We are not making cold brew coffee, we are making coffee-infused Bacardi 8 Rum. To infuse the Bacardi 8 Anejo Rum we pour it into the top tier, we use local rough ground coffee in the second tier. Then set the drip dial for the rum to 1 drip per second and the rum infuses with the coffee.  This allows the rum to pick up all the coffee flavor as well as the caffeine and makes an amazing coffee-infused rum.

I have created two cocktails to showcase the infused rum.  The first cocktail is a twist on a classic Old Fashioned. We call it the ‘Guayabera’; 2oz Coffee Infused Bacardi 8, Black Walnut and Orange Bitters stirred with ice and served with an orange peel for garnish. Quick, easy and delicious.

The second drink is called the ‘Bacardi Con Leche’ and it has Coffee Infused Bacardi 8 Rum, Nutella and Condensed Milk. This is a great cocktail before dinner or even as dessert, either way, it’s delicioso!

— Dave Madera, Director of Operations