Sangria is a refreshing wine and fruit punch that's perfect for summertime parties or for relaxing on a hot day. The mix of fruit and wine is pleasing to the eye and the palate, and it's simple to make. With a huge variety of wines and fruits at your fingertips, the flavor possibilities are endless. With this tasty punch in your recipe repertoire, you'll be the hit of every summertime gathering.
One of the great conveniences of making sangria is that you can use nearly any wine for it. Most people tend to choose a cheaper bottle, and there are some great red wines on the market that cost between $5 and $10. Sangria is sweeter than regular red wine, so choose a wine carefully depending on how sweet you want your final drink. Did you open a bottle recently that wasn't to your liking? Try making sangria with it.
Pour your wine into a pitcher or punch bowl then add fruit. Chopped apples and orange segments are popular fruits for sangria. Pears and plums work well, too. Some people prefer to make sangria with strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries that enhance the berry notes that many wines already have. Some of the best sangria is made spontaneously with any fruit you have that needs to get eaten soon.
If you love a specific flavor, but it's missing from your fruit selection, use juice or brandy to fill it in or add a bit of both. A sweet orange juice or a splash of lemon juice works well. Use your favorite brandy or choose a fruit-flavored brandy such as apricot or cherry.
The flavors need to really blend together, so let your pitcher of wine, fruit, juice and brandy chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours, up to overnight. One great thing about sangria is that you can make it the night before for a brunch or lunch the next day or make it in the morning for dinner that night.
When you're ready to drink your sangria, put a handful of ice in each glass. Be creative with your glass choices. You can serve sangria in wine glasses, margarita glasses, rocks glasses, or jelly jars. Sangria is often garnished with an orange slice, but you could use any complimentary fruit or herb.
Some people like a little fizz with their sangria. Add a splash of soda water or for a little more flavor, use a lemon-lime soda or a berry-flavored seltzer. To give your punch even more punch, use Prosecco or sparkling rosé. There's really no wrong way to add some bubbles to your sangria.
Sangria doesn't have to be made with red wine. Sometimes white wine or rosé feels more refreshing on a warm day. Different fruits complement white wine and rosé better than red, also. Peach slices pair well with most whites and rosés, as do strawberries and grapefruit segments. Try to avoid darker fruits that may muddy the color of the wine and make it look less appetizing.
Look beyond the more traditional sangria fruits. Mango, papaya, and pineapple with white wine make an excellent sweet, tropical fruit sangria. Cherries and blackberries add boldness to an already fruity red wine. Make a melon sangria with cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon, and a rosé. For an unusual treat, add limes, mint, pineapple juice and white rum to white wine.
Sangria is the perfect drink to share with friends since you have to open a bottle of wine to make it. You don't want that wine to go to waste so invite some friends over. Sangria tastes different every time you make it, due to the variances in fruit and wine flavors, so you can never go wrong with serving it as your signature drink at parties -- it will always be a conversation starter.
Encourage your guests to drink the wine-soaked fruit from the bottom of their sangria glasses. Keep toothpicks or small forks on hand for this, and your glass of wine essentially becomes a fun fruit salad. Sangria gives new life to wine and fruit, and going the extra step beyond simply opening a bottle makes any gathering feel a little more special.
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