Summer: it means warm evenings, patio drinks, ripe fruit and fresh garden herbs. So just what can you do with all of these wonderful summer treats? Make sangria of course! Sangria is great for parties or as a special drink on your menu. Some of these recipes are so delicious you may not have to invite too many friends over to help you finish the pitcher! Making sangria may seem a little overwhelming at first; there are many decisions like what type of fruit pairs best with which wine and then how much liquor should you add. Wine Enthusiast offers this step by step guide on building a refreshing drink with “The Anatomy of Sangria”. Here’s a look at what they recommend:
- Begin with a large pitcher or punch bowl and a mixing spoon.
- Add 1-2 cups mixed fruit. Citrus, melon, berries and grapes work well.
- Add 1 bottle of red or white wine.
- Add ¼ to ½ cup of triple sec and ¼ to ½ cup of brandy or light rum.
- Add ¼ to ½ cup of fruit juice. Orange, Lemon or Pomegranate are good options.
- Add extra flavor with ½ to 2 cups of a mixer like club soda, ginger ale or tea.
- Sweeten it up with ¼ to ¾ cup of sugar, honey or agave.
- Refrigerate overnight to let the flavors blend.
- Now you’re ready to serve. Fill glasses halfway with ice and add sangria.
- Garnish with fresh seasonings like jalapenos, basil, mint or ginger.
Don’t let yourself get discouraged by all the steps in the process. It is certainly worth the effort, and once you make sangria a few times you will have no trouble whipping up a concoction and adjusting different ingredients to suit your tastes. Besides the fresh flavors, the real beauty of drinks like punches and sangria is all the hands on effort is done in advance, so when your bar is bustling or guests are mingling you can quickly serve up cocktails to the thirsty crowd. In case you are still a little apprehensive of creating your own sangria, here are a few recipes that take this wine drink beyond its traditional flavor profiles.
From Food Republic
While this recipe veers away from the batch mixing, we think the flavors are very unique. You can pre-mix everything but the chile pepper and soda, and increase the amount of each ingredient to serve a group.
1 red chile pepper, sliced
2 1/2 ounces white wine
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce Triple Sec
1/2 ounce lime juice, fresh
1/3 ounce elderberry cordial, available at specialty grocery stores
1/2 ounce cranberry juice
1 teaspoon cucumber, diced
lemon- lime soda
In a tall glass, muddle the chile pepper. Add a scoop of ice, and stir in the remaining ingredients. Top up the glass with lemon-lime soda. Yields one drink.
Summer Melon Sangria
Lime and melon flavors are the stars of this super summery drink. Without much preparation required, this is a great recipe for a simple, yet delicious, sangria.
1 750 ml bottle of sauvignon blanc or a semi-sweet wine like Moscato
1 1/2 cups summer melon, cut into bite-sized cubes (i.e. canary, honeydew, cantaloupe)
3/4 cup Midori melon liqueur
1 1/2 oz limeade (i.e. Simply Limeade)
Sugar, to taste
2 limes, cut into wheels
Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour into iced glasses.
Sparkling Grapefruit Sangria
From How Sweet It Is
So you’re thinking, how could sangria get any better? Add champagne and you have your answer. This refreshing drink is fruity, fresh and bubbly. It would be an ideal brunch offering instead of the traditional mimosa.
1 750 mL bottle riesling
1 750mL bottle prosecco (or a dry champagne)
1 cup grapefruit juice
1/2 cup simple syrup
1/2 cup club soda
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1 grapefruit, cut into chunks/slices
Place fruit in a large pitcher then combine remaining ingredients and pour on top. Refrigerate an hour or so before serving. Yields 4-6 drinks.
From The New York Times
And finally, for those of you who are sangria purists, this recipe is sure to delight. Best yet, with fruits like oranges and apples, you can mix this up any time of the year.
2 bottles dry garnacha red wine
1 bottle dry rosado (Spanish rosé)
12 ounces orange soda (preferably a less-sweet brand such as Spanish KAS or San Pellegrino aranciata, or use Fanta)
1 ounce Torres orange liqueur or Triple Sec
2 ounces Romate or other Spanish brandy
1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
2 apples, cored and diced, for garnish
2 oranges, cut into wedges, for garnish
In a large vessel, combine all liquid ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon. Let rest for 5 minutes. Taste, and add sugar if desired, stirring to dissolve. Refrigerate for at least four hours, preferably overnight. To serve, fill glasses with ice. Pour 5 ounces sangria into each glass and garnish with diced apple and orange wedges. Yields 10 1/2 cups (about 16 servings).