How do you celebrate Columbus day? This day has different names around the Americas, but most people think that today was the day, Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492. Remember the poem that we learned in school?
In Fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue…
Yes, it goes on and on. But, as we grow up, we all know that he wasn’t the first to discover America. He was, however, an important player for opening the way for the settlement of America by Europeans. This holiday is also controversial because these settlements led to the demise of the history and culture of the indigenous peoples after years of battles, torture, murder, etc.
While we can go on and on about the history of Columbus Day and how horrible he really was, I want to talk about the way it’s celebrated. Some towns and cities hold special church services, parades, street parties, or just do nothing at all and take advantage of the great sales going on at the mall. I never really did much for this holiday while living in the United States. However, when I lived in Chile, it slowly started to become one of my favorite times of the year.
Hang on…Let me explain….
My closest friends in Chile are members of an Institute/Club called the Estadio Español. Chile has one of the largest Spanish communities outside of Spain and so this club is for those who are from Spanish descent living in Chile to come together and celebrate Spanish culture through food, sports, and social activities throughout the year. Once a year, they open their doors to the public and celebrate Dia de la hispanidad, on October 12 (or on the weekend before the 12th), which for us in the USA is Columbus Day. Thousands of people come to the Estadio for this event for a chance to experience traditional Spanish culture through beautiful shows filled with dances and other activities such as watching the final game of different sports, eating different regional foods and drinking gallons, upon gallons of sangria. It’s a whole day event. We always show up early with picnic blankets and we are always the last ones out.
If you don’t know what sangria is, you’re missing out on something amazing. It’s an alcoholic beverage that dates back to the 18th century that consists of red wine, chopped fruit, and other special secret ingredients that I’m about to share with you.
There are many ways to make sangria
Just type in sangria in your search bar and there will be thousands of versions all claiming to be the “original” sangria, but that’s even hard to define when each region of Spain has a different twist to their sangria. Between my friends, there are like 4 different versions that we make depending on our budgets and how much time we can dedicate to the making process.
just type in sangria in your search bar and there will be thousands of versions all claiming to be the “original” sangria, but that’s even hard to define when each region of Spain has a different twist to their sangria. Between my friends, there are like 4 different versions that we make depending on our budgets and how much time we can dedicate to the making process.
Now sangria is best when it has time to sit and think about all the fun it’s going to have with you at least overnight. So if you can make this at least a day before the event that would be ideal. If not, it still tastes delicious the moment you make it.
I am calling this version of sangria #DaReal Sangria. For two reasons:
- I feel like this is the closest version of traditional Spanish Sangria
- It’s the perfect representation of my closest friends in Chile. They welcomed me in with open arms, changed my world, and I will cherish every glass in their name. Now that we are all spread apart around the world, it’s a reminder of our friendship. Chiquillos, this one is for you: #0k #seguimosentrendando #DaRealamigos
Since drinking sangria is a social event in itself, we always make large 20-80 liter batches of Sangria at a time to last during the entire day. I’m going to base this recipe on 20 liters of sangria. So if your friends are good drinkers like mine, this will be enough for 4-6 people. Yes, 3-5 liters of sangria per person. Remember this is an all-day event…so there needs to be enough to last until night. If you want to do your own calculations, honestly think about your drinking habits and do the math.
- 12 liters of Red wine. You pick your favorite kind, the cheaper the better.
- 7 liters of Orange Juice. It’s your choice if you want fresh squeezed or concentrate.
- 1 bag of oranges
- 2 15 oz can of Chopped peaches
- ½ cup of Brandy,whisky
, or your favorite brown spirit
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 cinnamon Sticks
- 1 tsp Cloves
- 1-2 large stock pots (or anything you can find to mix everything together)
12 pack of your favorite beer
1 bottle of Rose
How to start:
Start by opening 1 bottle of beer and drink it. Remember, Sangria is a social event and you can have just as much fun making sangria as you do drinking it. Keep the liquids flowing; the party has started in your kitchen. Invite your friends over and make this together!
- Start by slicing up all the oranges and placing them at the bottom of your stock pot. Then add the two cans of chopped peaches (with its juice)
- In a small saucepan, make a simple syrup by mixing together sugar, water, cinnamon sticks and cloves over medium heat and stirring until it’s blended together all nicely. This smell is AMAZING!
- While you’re waiting for your simple syrup to mix together, Add your red wine, orange juice, ½ cup of any dark spirit, and Rose (optional) to the stock pot that already has the sliced oranges and chopped peaches.
- Once your simple syrup is ready, add it the party that’s already going on in your stock pot and blend everything together.
- Let sit overnight or serve immediately over ice.
That’s it!! This sangria will be a huge hit at your event. Remember to serve this drink cold and always drink in moderation because this sneaky cup of happiness will get you when you least expect it. Especially when you eat the orange slices!
I hope you enjoy it! Let me know how it turns out or what your favorite version of Sangria.
Remember when you give good, you get good