Let’s get it straight once for all. Sangría is not a Spanish national drink.
Yes, I am aware of the fact that you probably have been told the opposite. And yes, I know how cute the little bottles of Sangría in Spanish gift shops are, right?
This may surprise you but we don’t buy Sangría while grocery shopping. We do not drink it with every single meal. And I believe, many Spanish citizens won’t even know that such a drink may be bought in their local grocery shop.
Call me crazy but Spain may need some kind of an international marketing campaign to fix this misunderstanding. For now, volunteers all over the country are trying hard to get tourists from the “dark-Sangria” side.
So the other day I witnessed such a fixing dialog between a young couple from a foreign country (I would say they were from Russia, or Canada as both were wearing sandals and shorts in the middle of a cold March afternoon in Madrid!) and a typical hombre español.
I smirked with curiosity into the couple’s shopping basket and they already had in there the basic ingredients for, what I believe, would be their Spanish tapas dinner (a packet of jamón Serrano, piece of cheese, olives, strawberries and pre-cooked tortilla de patatas).
They were standing in the alcohol section of the supermarket trying to decide between Sangría Don Simon in 1.5l bottle or in a 1l brick. Hard decision, right?
Then, an older Spanish man while walking by whispered to them “this NO buy. Sangría NO”. Which I believe was a scream of “Spain is more than Sangria, dumasses!” in very bad English. Well actually, I was positively surprised by his knowledge of, at least, few words in English. Generally Spaniard can’t speak any English.
I could see a huge WTF expression on their faces (was it because of a strange man trying to help them out? Or was it because of the not buying Sangria thing?).
The man stopped and again, in his basic English, tried to convinced them not to buy Sangria. “Eso NOT. Buy wine tinto and orange zumo. Mix, mix, mix. Vino better!”
Let me translate it for you – “don’t you dare buy this awful prepared Sangria drink in a plastic bottle. If you really HAVE TO try something similar, make the Sangria yourself. Buy a bottle of Spanish red wine, add some orange juice and mix it. You are welcome!”
He obviously forgot about adding chopped oranges, apples, pineapples or lemons 😉 But who am I to blame him. I had been sinned with Sangria during my first parties in Madrid while studying at the university as well (shame on me!). And I am still trying to convince my mother not to order Sangria while she is in Spain. But I am afraid it’s a Sisyphean task. Who can argue with her excuse “it’s so cheap and sweet and yummy and has A LOT OF EXOTIC FRUITS in it!!” Right?