My love for the summer drink aside, the very concept of sangria...of the blood... reminds me of my Puerto Rican DNA. I have traced both sides of my family back to the turn of the 19th century with ancestors born in the late 1700s. To my utter surprise, every single ancestor I have found was born in Puerto Rico. Not one of the 50+ ancestors on the furthest branches of my tree was born off the island. I find it so amazing that in the year 1800, there were only 155,426 people living in Puerto Rico and my ancestors were among them. I often find that people from the Caribbean islands are eager to find ancestors who immigrated from somewhere traceable. I admit, I thought that is where my research would take me also. But no, my roots run deep into the montañas, below the sugarcane, below the sand. My ancestors came long long ago on ships, some on deck, some in chains to meet the others already living in Borinken - never knowing they would create an entirely new culture, an entirely new group of people with mixed blood, mixed genes - a beautiful people - distinct from whence they came. My sangria has a deep red wine base from shores of España with a mezcla of flavor from Italy, Ireland, Africa, France, Borinken, and the Middle East. My genes have been swirling around the island for hundreds of years creating this new, distinct sabor that is way more satisfying. What began as sweet Spanish wine became a jubilant, refreshing sangria with a character unlike any other.