Valencian Paella with Sangria: Discover the Perfect Match.

January 9, 2012

in Tips & Suggestions

As with many other dishes, when you cook paella and serve it to your guests, you have to decide what you are going to offer them as drinks for the meal.

Since Valencian Paella contains rice, meat and vegetables, several suitable beverages can accompany it.

You can serve it with red wine, sparkling wine, beer or water. I have seen people eating paella and drinking Cola, although I would not recommend it because of the sweet taste.

But the most popular drink to accompany paella is, by far, Sangria.

For those of you who have never heard of Sangria, let me introduce it to you and then we will go through the easy process of preparing it.

Sangria is a typical Spanish drink whose base is red wine. It’s usually prepared fresh before drinking and mainly consumed in the summer time. In supermarkets in Spain, you can find it bottled, but it’s not typical and not as tasty as if you freshly prepare it.

The word Sangria comes from “sangre”, which means ‘blood’ in Spanish. This is because of the reddish color provided by the red wine. Some sources affirm that Sangria comes from the English word Sangaree, but the Concise Oxford dictionary consider Sangaree as a word with Spanish origins and defines it as “a cold drink made of wine mixed with water and spices”.

There are many variations of Sangria. You can find one slightly different from the others in every restaurant or house. Nevertheless, one of the most common Sangria recipes you can find in the area where the authentic Valencian paella is cooked contains the following ingredients:

  • Red wine
  • Peach, apple or pear
  • Lemon
  • Sugar
  • Soda
  • Ice

There are people that also add brandy or other heavy alcohol drinks, although I would not recommend when you are drinking Sangria as an accompaniment to paella.

Preparing Sangria is very simple. This is the recipe.

Step 1: Put red wine in a bowl, add sugar and stir until it completely dissolves.

Step 2: Peel and cut several types of fruit into small pieces. As suggested, the most common are peach, apple and pear. You can use only one type or mix (for example, peach or pear). Rinse and cut a lemon into slices and add to the bowl. Add the small chunks of fruit to the bowl and put the bowl in the fridge. It is not recommended to leave it chilling for more than three hours. Longer than this and there could be a slightly different taste because of the fermentation process.

Step 3: Just before serving, add cold soda and ice cubes.

Step 4: It’s usually served in a chilled glass jar.

There you have it – very easy, simple and refreshing for your authentic paella party.

Enjoy it!

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