Sangria is a Spanish drink that consists of wine and fruit. I never knew that red sangria (made with red wine) could taste so smooth until my friends Yili and Kent made me their sangria with a secret ingredient. It may not be authentic, but I can drink this stuff like it’s juice. The recipe below provides guidelines for making a classic sangria, as well. Sangria is thought of as more of a summer drink, but I make it all year round. It’s a fun drink to serve at a Halloween or vampire themed party. I made two large pitchers for John’s housewarming party, and they were finished early in the night (I only had one small glass).
Favourite Sangria Recipe
adapted from Yili and Kent; I recommend doubling this recipe. Note: One of the great things about sangria is that you can easily try new flavour combinations. For example, try switching up the fruits and/or fruit juice that you use, or try using different carbonated (flavoured or non-flavoured) drinks.
1 bottle (750 ml) red wine, chilled through in the refrigerator (Note: Any red wine will work, especially cheap wine, but I recommend something strongly flavoured, like a shiraz or syrah.)
1 bottle (750 ml) Arbor Mist brand of white zinfandel, exotic fruits flavour, chilled through in the refrigerator (Note: This is what makes the sangria extra smooth. Omit this if you want an authentic version of sangria and replace with another bottle of red wine.)
1/4 cup orange liqueur (Note: I used the brand Cointreau.)
1/4 cup brandy (Note: I omit this when I don’t happen to have brandy on hand.)
1 litre (4 cups) of ginger ale, chilled through in the refrigerator (Note: If you’d prefer to use soda water, then you may need to add simple syrup or juice to sweeten the drink to taste. Omit carbonated drinks for an authentic version of sangria.)
1 or 2 large oranges, washed and cut into thin slices
1 large lemon, washed and cut into thin slices
2 limes, washed and cut into thin slices
at least 1/2 pound of thinly sliced or cubed fruits (Note: Use any combination of fruits that you like. Fruits that work well include pear, kiwi, peach, mango, pineapple, apple, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc. I always include strawberries. Also, feel free to add a splash of fruit juice (i.e. orange, grape, pomegranate, or mixed berries, etc.) to increase the fruit flavour and sweetness of your sangria.)
Place the sliced orange, lemon, and lime in the bottom of a large pitcher. Muddle them using a muddler or a spoon to release some of the juices. Then add the other fruit, the bottle of red wine, the brandy, and the orange liqueur. Cover the pitcher with its lid or syran wrap, and refrigerate at least overnight and for up to 24 hours. Add the bottle of Arbor Mist (if using) and ginger ale just prior to serving. Serve cold. Don’t forget to eat the wine soaked fruit.