Warmer seasons bring brisk and refreshing cravings to the palate. During summer months red wine drinkers may switch colors out of preference for a chilled beverage – not because they are keen to white wine, though. For the troubled and sweaty wino partial to reds, sangria will solve all of your summer woes.
Sangria is a wine punch. A traditional recipe calls for wine, fruit juice, and sugar. Because the wine is being mixed and diluted with ice, a dry red is best because of its robust flavor that will hold up against the added ingredients. I suggest using an inexpensive Cabernet or Merlot. Of course you can use white wine if you prefer – white sangria is crisp and delightful but it won’t have near as much flavor as red. Whichever path you choose, stay away from wine on the sweet side.
I fell in love with sangria because of its flexibility and adaptability to flavor preferences – it’s also the ideal party cocktail when playing host. Sangria takes 15 minutes to prepare and, like good soup, gets better as the flavors marry. A forewarning: my sangria comes with a kick! But that’s why it is such a fantastic party favor. I offer a sangria recipe using ingredients that are readily available all year round. However, don’t let my measurements and choices in fruit hinder your own sangria.
6 cups (2, 750ml bottle) red wine
1 cup Brandy (E&J)
1 cup Rum (Cruzan)
1 cup Gin (Seagrams Orange Twist)
1 cup Orange juice
1 cup Apple juice
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup Ginger simple syrup
Combine wine, liquor, juices, simple syrup, and sliced fruit in a punch bowl. To make Ginger simple syrup, bring raw ginger root with equal parts sugar and water to a boil. Serve Sangria over ice and top with a splash of soda water.
Orange and Apple juices make for a punch that isn’t too tropical or too sweet. The ginger syrup offers a sophisticated and aromatic layer to the cocktail. If you don’t want your sangria too strong, substitute Rum and Gin for Triple Sec or remove them altogether. Again, I encourage experimentation with sangria! Make alterations and adjustments partial to you and your guest. Try seasonal berries as a garnish and compliment it with matching juice and flavored liquor. When autumn falls in a few months, use mull spices in the simple syrup for the perfect in-between seasonal cocktail.
No matter how you go about it, sangria is an all around inexpensive people pleaser and a great way to enjoy wine in a whole new way.