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The Spanish nationalisation of sangría, a great British invention, is the last straw.

Sangría’s major consumers have always been Brits, and the concept is actually London Scots. OED:

sangaree, n.
Forms: Also sangarie, sangre(e.
Etymology: < Spanish sangría (lit. ‘bleeding'), ‘a drink composed of lemon water and red wine' ( Novísimo Dicc., 1868). 1736 Gentleman's Mag. Sept. 551 Mr. Gordon, a Punch-seller in the Strand, had devised a new Punch made of strong Madeira wine and called Sangre.

James Grainger, An Essay on the More Common West-India Diseases; and the Remedies which that Country Itself Produces. … By a Physician in the West-Indies (1764):



What then is to be depended on?

Gentle diaphoretics; tea made of devil’s bit, wild sage tea, weak sour punch, madeira sangree mixed with Seville orange; a mouth-water or gargle made of canker-berry, privet, alum, honey, &c. is also useful. Steaming the throat with warm vinegar does good.

For want of attending to these rules, more Negroes for some years past have perished by sore throats, than by any other disease.

And without slaves where would Steve McQueen (director) be? Etc etc.


In relation to Sangria and Clarea, for example, Annex II provides that the description ‘Sangria’/’Clarea’ may replace the description ‘aromatised wine-based drink’ only where the drink in question was manufactured in Spain or Portugal, in the case of Sangria, or in Spain, in the case of Clarea.

So a Pakistani teetotaller (I have never met a Punjabi averse to JB, but he presumably exists) can sell his customary mixture of rotten fruit, kidney-stoned donkey piss and sugar and call it sangría in Barcelona, while the appalling Spanish-run tapas-bar-formerly-known-as-Medaso at 106 Homerton High Street, London (“What, you want salt on your pimientos de padrón?) will have to advertise “paella (assuming that’s still legal) and aromatised wine-based drink” or face up to the Belgian armed forces.

It’s a horrible mockery of all notions of competitive common markets that recalls some aspects of the domination of the late 19th century US by the great trust octopus. Edmund Morris, Theodore Rex (the trilogy is the best political biography I’ve ever read):

America was no longer a patchwork of small self-sufficient communities. It was a great grid of monopolistic cities doing concentrated business with one another: steel cities and rubber cities, cities of salt and cloth and corn and copper. Just beyond these hills was a place that actually called itself Oil City!

And all for our benefit, obviously. Boris Johnson clearly flatters himself, but he’s no Teddy Roosevelt (and neither was Teddy Roosevelt, come to that).

If the purpose of the law is indeed

to protect the reputation of the regional foods, promote rural and agricultural activity, help producers obtain a premium price for their authentic products, and eliminate the unfair competition and misleading of consumers by non-genuine products, which may be of inferior quality or of different flavour.

… then at very least French authors need to be forbidden from selling “novels.” I read some Houellebecq the other day and now understand why the Dutch for “shut your gob” is “hou je bek.”

The issue of the Gentleman’s Magazine in question is great fun: they’re cracking down on gin palaces, MPs’ houses are being stormed in protest, and the militia has been called out. Then there’s news that “One Donovan was taken into Custody for being the Author of and vending Songs and Libels against the Government.”

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