If we say that sangria is the ultimate, all-season drink, many people will agree with us.
It is considered a relatively low-calorie option, especially when compared to other cocktails and liquors. But is it good for weight loss?
Keep reading below to find out!
What Is Sangria?
Sangria is a cocktail with Spanish origins. It is red or white in color, has a sweet taste, and has lots of fruits in it.
It is traditionally made with red or white wine, fruit juice, and fresh fruits, but you will find there are plenty of variations with fizzy mixers like club soda or ginger ale added to it as well.
The fresh fruit is chopped into small cubes, and the red or white wine is mixed with the fruit juice, like orange juice, to make it fruitier.
Then, the fruit cubes are put inside the wine glasses and the wine mix is poured on top. The fruits release their aromas and fructose in the drink, further increasing their fruity, sweet, and refreshing essence!
However, many sangria recipe variations include other ingredients as well. For example, many sangrias nowadays are served with sweeteners, like syrup or sugar, added to them.
Others have sparkling water or club soda added as an extra ingredient to give sangria a fizziness, whereas several people also add liqueurs with flavor to make sangria stronger in alcohol and more aromatic.
How Many Calories Does Sangria Have?
As we’ve already mentioned, Sangria is a fresh, customizable drink made from a flavorful mix of fruits and alcohol.
Even so, when produced in its classic Spanish style, the number of calories in sangria — in addition to the carbs and sugar — can be an issue for those looking for a healthier alternative.
A standard glass of sangria, which is a 5-ounce one, contains about 120 calories, while an 8-ounce serving of sangria, regardless of whether it is red or white, contains about 215 calories.
This visually simple cocktail also contains 16 grams of sugar and 19 grams of carbohydrates, which is not ideal for people on a low-carb or keto diet.
Is Sangria A Healthy Drink?
There isn’t a single and precise answer to this question as sangria can be made with a range of different ingredients, many of which are healthier than others.
For instance, if you make your sangria with fresh fruit and sugar-free juice, it will most probably be better than if you use sweetened mixers.
Likewise, if you are using good dry red wine and skip the extra sugar, your sangria will be much more nutritious and healthier.
And since you get to choose which ingredients to use as well as the amount of sugar you will incorporate in your drink, you can turn your sangria either into the healthiest or the unhealthiest of alcoholic drinks!
Nevertheless, it is relatively balanced in terms of its nutrients, and red wine is well-known for its multiple health benefits, and sangria does incorporate all of them.
Antioxidant properties, such as polyphenols and flavonoids, help with keeping the cells healthy, and resveratrol, a natural substance of grapes, also assists the body in fighting inflammation.
Reducing Calories And Carbohydrates In Your Sangria Wine
Since sangria wines can differ that much, there are a few simple steps you can take to cut down on the number of calories and carbohydrates in your drink:
- Prefer zero-calorie options both for the sweetener and the soft drink. For instance, use sparkling water and Splenda sweeteners instead of ginger ale and sugar.
- Adjust the ratios of wine, sparkling water, fruit juice, and sweetener to taste, increasing the sparkling water and trying to reduce the wine and juice.
- Before adding any additional sugar, sip the sangria to make sure that it is actually needed.
- Rather than using high-sugar fruit juice in your sangria, go for pure lemon or lime juice — and otherwise, if you prefer your sangria to be less fruity, just leave out the fruit juice.
To start making a sangria-like beverage, the first step is to get one bottle of wine and 3 cups of sparkling water, and then fill the glass halfway with zested citrus fruit.
Before putting your ice cube tray in the freezer to turn that water into ice, sprinkle some lemon zest on each water cube so that when the ice cubes begin to melt inside the sangria, they will release their flavor.
You will also reduce the number of grams of carbs and sugars in your sangria this way, as dry red wine has less than 1 gram of sugar and only 3.84 grams of carbs, whereas white wine has 1.41 grams of sugar and 3.82 grams of carbs.
If you want to make a traditional Spanish sangria, then you will need nothing more than 4 ingredients, as the rest of them in this recipe are optional and not necessary for the classic recipe.
So, all you need is a bottle of red or white wine, 2 oranges, a lemon, and a cinnamon stick.
The oranges and lemon are squeezed to make some fresh juice that is free from additives and sugars like the ones you might get from a supermarket.
Then, in a bowl, you can pour the wine of your choice and mix it with the juice you’ve just made, and the cinnamon stick, and leave it to rest for a bit until all the aromas are released and the liquids are well-mixed.
While you can stop here, we do suggest adding some fruit slices or cubes to your drink. Even though you will get some extra calories and carbs from them, fruit is extremely healthy and beneficial for you.
Plus, what better way to get 1 out of your 5 servings of fruit and vegetables in a day than from a sangria wine?
If you are used to having sweet cocktails and your sangria tastes too bitter and sour for you, then you can add something sugary, but ideally, one that has no calories, like sucralose, Stevia, or else.
A great example of a low-carb, low-sugar sangria is this one.
Made with a dry red or white wine, a bit of brandy (which you can always skip to further reduce the number of calories, carbs, and sugars in your drink), sweetener, and low-carb fruits, it is the perfect keto sangria recipe!
Strawberries, raspberries, and boysenberries are great alternatives to apples, pears, and apricots, while erythritol is another one to add to the list of sweeteners that are great substitutes for the classic sugar and syrups most cocktails have.
The Bottom Line
Sangria is a heartening drink that, in reasonable quantities, can be consumed as part of a balanced diet, however, regardless of its health benefits, it’s not vital for you to drink sangria on a daily basis to enhance your cardiovascular health.
Yet, whatever you do, if you’re searching for something else to sip on in the summertime, then a healthy sangria in moderation is one of the best options you have.