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50 Drinks in 50 States: Red Sangria in Oregon

Get inspired to drink your way across America (without ever leaving your backyard) with Margaritaville’s 50 Drinks in 50 States series.

Labor Day weekend is upon us and brings with it the symbolic feeling that summer is coming to an end. At Margaritaville, we like to make the good days last with the perfect beverage for every occasion. This time, our suggestion may seem a little out of left field but we will explain below why we are bringing you Sangria from Oregon for your Labor Day weekend.

Yes, the origin of Sangria is Spain – far from Oregon – but allow us to be creative…

Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day an official holiday. While the movement to officially honor the social and economical achievements of American workers on the first Monday of September was already in process across the country, Oregon was the first state to pass this bill on February 21, 1887. Naturally, it feels appropriate to celebrate this holiday from the State of Oregon.

In our specialty cocktail research, we discovered that Oregon is known more for its craft beers and wine production than other cocktails per se. However, add some brandy, sugar, and fruit juice with local Oregon wine and you now have a colorful, delicious cocktail.

Oregon has more than 702 wineries. While they produce a wide variety of wines, their top five wines include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling and Syrah. They rank as the 4th state in wine production behind California, Washington and New York.

It is reported that Sangria was first introduced to the U.S. at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. This sugar-sweetened wine and fruit cocktail is typically made with dry red wine (merlot, cabernet, etc.) but you can’t go wrong experimenting with any red wine variety. Salud!

Ingredients (Makes 8 Servings)

  • 4 oranges – 2 juiced, 2 halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 bottle red wine, chilled
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups seltzer or club soda


In a large pitcher, combine fresh orange juice, sugar and brandy – stir well to dissolve the sugar. Add wine, orange slices, lemon slices and seltzer – stir to combine. Fill glasses with ice and the sangria mixture.

A Twist

Replace soda water with Cava (a Spanish Champagne) and mix in lime slices. You can also experiment by including different fruit such as green and red apple slices.

Alternatively, some people prefer a white wine sangria.