You either love or hate sangria, but if you fall into the latter group perhaps it’s because you’ve never had a good batch. This sweet fruit-juice, sugar and wine sipper is belovedly served in restaurants and on patios throughout the country, quenching the masses during long summer days. Red sangria was introduced to the United States in the early ’60s at the New York World’s Fair, although it has long been popular in Spain and Portugal. Seems the fun, fruity beverage struck a chord, and imaginations blossomed with possibilities. Americans have been inventing their own recipes ever since, expanding into white and sparkling-wine versions, and adding more and more stuff. Many declare theirs the best/freshest/most-loved, etc., but here are some recipes that I’ve collected over the years from readers and cookbooks (mostly altered).
A few ground rules when making your own sangria: 1. Unlike what most people think, when choosing a wine, start with a bottle you would drink by itself, as poorly made wine will haunt your finished product. The wine doesn’t have to be expensive — Spanish wines are often excellent values, and I used inexpensive Australian shiraz over the years (a listing of wines under $15); 2. Always serve over ice, except the sparkling version; and 3. Individualize your sangria with different fruit to personalize your recipe. And perhaps this should be No. 4: Never, ever serve bottled, premixed sangria. That brand “Real Sangria” is especially some of the nastiest chemical Kool-Aid I’ve ever consumed.
Plantation White Sangria
(from Marc Wagner)
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 apple, sliced
1 bottle white wine
1 cup lemon-lime soda (such as Sprite)
1 cup lemonade
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup key lime juice (be sure to use key lime)
Simmer water, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom for five minutes, then cool down to room temperature. Mix all remaining ingredients, then add sugar/water mixture. Chill overnight if possible, but if not, pour over ice and enjoy right away.
Patti’s Party White Sangria
(from Patti Howerton)
1 1/2 cup frozen black raspberries
1 1/2 cup frozen red raspberries
1 12-ounce can frozen pink lemonade
3 cups Sprite
1 bottle good chardonnay
2/3 cup cognac or brandy
In a large pitcher, combine all ingredients and stir. Refrigerate for at least two hours to blend flavors. Serve chilled in large iced tea glasses, with several berries in the bottom of the glass and a thinly sliced lemon twist on the side of the glass. I usually chill the glasses for a real treat!
Lemonade Red Sangria
(from Scott Garms)
Editor’s note: This is what I serve at my house when the occasion calls for sangria – Taylor
1 lemon, 1 orange, 1 lime, 1 apple, all cut into small chunks
1 quart pink lemonade (can be the powdered stuff)
1 bottle dry red wine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
In a large pitcher, add all ingredients and stir. Refrigerate at least two hours and serve over ice.