Sangria…from the Spain and Portugal regions of Europe, they are a perfect weekend kick-start, or patio refreshment on a hot day; loaded with fruit and flavour, and *generally* low in alcohol, they’re perfect for get-togethers in or out! But here’s the best part, they’re as varied and colourful as fish in the sea and easy to make too! See below for all you need to know about making your own Sangria, and as an added challenge, try them all – and tell us which one is your favourite!
Let’s start with the basics—components of Sangria:
Any type will do, though wines with bubbles like champagne, prosecco, moscato and other sparkling varieties give the best presentation with the extra bubbles; however, authentic Sangria typically use red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja reds, Zinfandel or Shiraz/Syrah).
Club Soda, Sparkling Water, Tonic Water, Ginger Ale, Sprite, 7-up
You want the glasses looking cold and dripping with condensation, so fill each glass half way with ice, as well as topping off your punch.
Get creative with how you mix and mash your fruits, but here is a hefty starter list:
- CITRUS Lemons, Limes, Oranges (blood oranges in white-wine based sangrias make for great contrast) and Grapefruits.
- BERRIES Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries etc.
- TROPICAL Peach, Kiwi, Apple, Pear, Watermelon, Honeydew, Grapes, Pomegranate, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, etc.
Spice & Garnish
A little spice goes a long way, and a garnish really finishes the presentation. Here are a list of spices that work will with fruit:
- Mint, Basil, Ginger, Rosemary, Chili Pepper or Jalapeno (seeds removed and diced).
A basic Sangria will dilute your wine down by about a full portion (so sangrias using a wine with the alcohol content of 10%, would be about 5% alcohol by volume), which is great for some, and less great for others. If you’re looking for additional “oomph”, here a few liquors you can add to increase the fire factor in your punch:
- Brandy, Rum, Triple Sec, Vodka
Sweetner (to taste)
Depending on your preference, and the items you use to create the Sangria, you may want to add sweetener. A great list of sweeteners are below, but feel free to use which ever source you commonly use in the kitchen:
- Agave Sugar/Syrup, Honey, Stevia or Sugar
The Basic Sangria Recipe
- 1 750 ml bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja reds, Zinfandel, Shiraz)
- 1 Lemon cut into wedges
- 1 Orange cut into wedges
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Shot brandy
- 2 Cups ginger ale or club soda
Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon and orange into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and add sugar and brandy. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale or club soda just before serving.If you'd like to serve right away, use chilled red wine and serve over lots of ice.Addition ideas: sliced strawberries, diced peaches, a handful of fresh blueberries, raspberries, kiwi slices, a shot or two of gin, brandy or rum, a cup of ginger ale, citrus soda or fresh squeezed lime juice.
Check out some of the wines we suggest using, remember you want to use an inexpensive yet good quality wine!
The Summer Crusher (A GREAT White Sangria)
- 1 bottle of a “cost-effective” (AKA cheap) Prosecco or Champagne (like $12-17…seriously, there’s no need to overdo it)
- ½ bottle of club soda
- 3 Limes (2 cut into wedges, 1 cut and half and squeezed into the Sangria)
- 1-2 Cups frozen raspberries
- 3 fresh Kiwis (diced into 8 cubes; peeling the kiwi is optional, though it does improve presentation)
- Fresh basil (using hands, crush and shred 2-3 plants)
- 2 oz St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- 4 oz Vodka
- 2-4 cups of Ice
1) Pour wine in the pitcher and add the juice from one lime. Add the vodka and St Germain. Throw in the frozen raspberries and kiwis. And finally add the basil. Stir contents together to disperse flavours and ingredients. Chill for at least 1.5 hours.
*Admittedly, I don’t know what this would taste like if you left it for more than 4 hours, so consider using less basil if you’re letting it sit overnight as the basil flavour may take over the drink if you use too much.
2) Add about a half bottle of club soda just before serving (be careful open it – club soda always goes volcanic for me, if I’m being careless).
3) Consume with caution – the drink is amazingly refreshing and doesn’t taste boozy; 2 or three later, with all of the fruit in your belly, and you’ll need to be hailing a cab if you’re going home J
4) As an added bonus, left-over club soda goes great with St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur; add about shot of St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur to a glass of Club Soda.
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