How to Make Sangria
|Sangria with strawberry, pineapple, lime, and Spanish red wine
Let's start by not overthinking Sangria too much. It's basically just spa water made with wine, and a little brandy. The spa water of Jesus. And I know everyone already puts a little brandy in their spa water so I'm glad we're starting out on the same page. First, there is no one way to make Sangria, so have fun with it, get creative! I'm gonna just make a template here that you can add to depending on what you like and what you have on hand.
WineYou can also make Sangria with white wine, sherry, or bubbly, but today's focus is on a classic red wine base.
Nothing too fancy, but this is also not the time to bust out the Franzia. I like a $4-10 wine that's dry and not oak forward, preferably a Spanish wine (this is a traditionally Spanish drink after all). Trader Joe's is great for finding bottles in this range.
You'll want some fruit like apple, strawberry, grapes, cherries, pineapple or blueberries. One to two of these is fine. Chop them small so you get lots of surface area and plenty of tasty little boozy bites in the glass.
Orange, lemon and lime. You'll want one or two of these to accompany your other fruit, but you should have some acid -- don't skip this category. Slice them on the thinner side.
Typically you'll see brandy as the marinade for your fruit salad, but you can use orange liqueur, sherry/vermouth, or a combination.
Many recipes will call for a bit of plain table sugar, which I typically avoid. Instead, I use something else to sweeten the Sangria, such as a sweet vermouth (factor this in if you care about the alcohol content) or a fruit syrup. The syrup doesn't have to be homemade, sometimes I use the cherry syrup from my Luxardo Maraschino cherries.
-Basic Sangria Recipe-
roughly 1 cup of mixed chopped fresh fruit (try starting with apple and strawberry)
1 lemon, sliced thin
1 orange, halved and then sliced
1/3 cup brandy (I used an inexpensive VS cognac)
1/4 cup orange liqueur
2 oz fruit syrup** or 4 oz sweet vermouth or to taste
1 bottle dry red wine
Take your fruit, citrus, spirit, and sweetener and add them to you pitcher or container. Pour in the brandy/liqueur, give it a stir, and let sit at room temp for about 30 minutes. Add the bottle of wine, vermouth if desired, and cover your container. Let the Sangria sit overnight to let the flavors marry. Serve over ice, optionally topping up with a splash of sparkling water.
The Sangria will keep in the fridge for several days, but it's doubtful you'll let it go that long.