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Is there anything quite so refreshing as an ice-cold glass of fruity, sweet Sangria? Probably not, but isn't it strange that today, December 20th, is National Sangria Day?

I agree with my dad who said it's a warm-weather drink. However, the right Sangria recipe can make a lovely winter drink, too, especially with seasonally appropriate fruits and spices. Sangria is, after all, infinitely variable in recipes:

Sangria is a beverage made with wine and sweetened with fresh fruit and fruit juices. Other ingredients can include herbs, spices, carbonation, and liquor. The combinations are endless, giving sangria a place in the cocktail rotation year-round. Refreshing and light during hot summer months, bright and sparkling during the winter ones, this fruity punch is quite versatile.

Fun Facts: Sangria means "blood letting" in Spanish, so you may want to plan on incorporating Sangria for your next Halloween celebration. Technically, Sangria can only be labeled as such for the market if it is made in Spain or Portugal, but like champagne, most of us call sparkling white wine or fruit-flavored wine punch by the moniker that makes for the most ease of communication.

Sangria is fun and easy to make at home, but it does require time for the flavors to "marry". So where in Lubbock, can you get a delicious glass (or bottle, or pitcher) of Sangria?

Mano Negra (2610 Salem, Inside Cactus Alley)

I have to start with a caveat- which is that Mano Negra is not open on Tuesdays. However, you can celebrate a belated Sangria Day tomorrow at this micro-brewery inside the lovely Cactus Alley tomorrow. In fact, I'm picking up a bottle of their Sunset and Cinnamon varieties and yes, I'm quite excited about it. Cinnamon is a holiday variety and sounds like the perfect choice for the season.

La Diosa Cellars (901 17th St)

La Diosa is an elegant and cozy downtown bar and restaurant that serves tapas and delicious wines. More than once have I ordered a pitcher of their lovely Sangria to share with friends. I do recommend multiple friends to share that pitcher- it packs quite a punch. I apologize for the pun, I'll see myself out.

Believe It Or Not, Alamo Drafthouse (120 W Loop 289 Acc Rd)

Almo Drafthouse has both a delicious Sangria and an amazing Sangria-swirled Margarita. It is my favorite frozen margarita in town- ask for the Mambo Margarita, and you won't regret it.

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