Sangria is a Spanish fortified wine flavored with citrus and fruit. It is a very close cousin to mulled wine. The Romans loved to drink spiced wine that they called hippocras. Though Hippocras is flavored with mulling type spices like cinnamon or cloves, somewhere along the line, spiced wine in Spain became flavored with citrus and fruit instead. Since they are no longer trying to cook the flavor out of the spices, the wine is kept cool and infused with the citrus making this a cold beverage. It’s close to the word sange, which means blood in Spanish, or sangrando, which means bleeding, but I’ve only ever heard this word describe the drink. If you told a Spanish speaker you were bleeding and used the word sangria, they would be confused. So you may notice this is a milk punch, but I use half & half and not milk. Mixing with dairy is a pain in the ass, and that’s because alcohol, like acid, causes milk protein to bind together and make cheese. What protects the protein from tying together is fat. Regular milk doesn’t have enough fat, so you will make curds and whey punch every time instead. The trick is to balance the higher ABVs with the correct fat percentage. This one comes in around 15%, and at that abv half & half works well. Something like a white Russian, which is 30%, needs heavy cream because that’s too much booze and would curdle half & half. If you use milk, you would need to add less alcohol and water it down some to hopefully not have it curdle.
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