Not that the sangria season should be limited. I regularly make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings because it is a great party drink that you can make ahead of time. I also make it in red and white varieties, but something about white wine makes Dain pretend to gag. Unless it’s free. Then he will happily imbibe if that is the only choice. That’s how he rolls. So we usually make red sangria to accommodate Dain, and there is no better time to make it than during the hot summer months. Something about summer just screams cold and fruity drink on ice. Especially when you’re coping with the fact that it is 113 degrees warmer than it was five months ago like we were this week. Here’s how we make our sangria sparkle.
Sangria is incredibly simple. Unfortunately, most bars that you order a sangria from make a lazy man’s version by just adding red wine, some kind of schnapps (ick), a splash of fruit juice, and a few slices of fruit. It doesn’t even come close to homemade sangria…..which needs to steep for at least a few hours to bring out the fruity flavors. I’ve made many recipes over the years, but my favorite has been adapted from an Emeril Lagasse recipe. I generally view recipes as a suggestion, which is why I don’t bake, and with that in mind, I slightly modified his recipe into an easier version. And a fruitier version since that is the best part.
Here is the basic recipe:
-1 bottle Wine
-1/4 cup Brandy
-1/4 cup Orange Liqueur (Triple Sec, Cointreau, Grand Marnier…)
-1/4 cup Sugar
Start by combining the bottle of wine, brandy, orange liqueur, and sugar in a pitcher stirring until sugar is dissolved. Then you add the juice of one lime and one orange. You can use a juicer if you have one or kick it old school and just squeeze it into the pitcher.
Next, slice the remaining fruit, and add it to the pitcher, giving it all a final stir.
Then just refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.
When you are ready to serve, pour it over ice and top with chilled club soda. Or you can use 7up or Ginger Ale if you like it even sweeter. And you can totally customize. You can go half wine mixture and half club soda or just a splash of club soda depending on how strong you want it. The very best part is the fruit that has been soaking in the mixture. Make sure to add a few slices to the glass. But be warned…it is very boozy.
Even though this is the basic recipe, you can always change out the fruit. Last time I made it, we had pineapple and strawberries so I threw those in too (as you may have noticed above since we didn’t have any apples). White sangria is excellent with peaches, mangoes, grapes or berries. I make it the same way with different fruit and usually just change out the juice so instead of the orange juice, I would add white grape juice to white sangria. You could also change it to apple liqueur if you really want to go all out. It also makes a fun gift.
We love sangria so much that we recently put together a sangria box for a housewarming party. We put all of the ingredients and a pitcher together so that a batch of sangria could be created. We also printed out a custom recipe that we aptly called “Warm this House Sangria.”
We put in little bottles of the brandy and the triple sec, and we filled the pitcher with the fruit.
Pretty darn cute if we do say so ourselves. If you are looking for a good summer drink or a good party drink, try sangria, and if our recipe doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are endless options only a google search away.
(This post is linked to Home Stories A to Z.)