Well folks, it’s been a bit of a week, hasn’t it? Personally, I’ve been mentally and emotionally bogged down by the news coming out of Charlottesville and the US in general, and I wondered whether it was appropriate to even write something this week. But sometimes in time of exhausting despair we can benefit from a temporary escape into fluff. Ever onward, friends.
We are well and truly into the dog days of summer now (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway) and to me summer is the perfect time for Sangria.
Originally from the Iberian peninsula, Sangria is such a gorgeous summertime drink, and is in fact protected under European wine laws. Only sangria made in Spain and Portugal are allowed to sell it as ‘sangria’ in Europe – sangria made in other places have to specify where they’re from. Sangria is serious business!
Allow me to share with you my own personal recipe for Sangria. Consider it an homage to the beauty of the Iberian peninsula. There are many many recipes out there, and many of them area great, but Sangria is such a malleable drink that is easily lends itself to variation. So, while I offer you my personal recipe, I also encourage you to try different things and make your own recipe too.
I start with a pitcher that will hold at least 1.5Ls of liquid, plus the inevitable space it’ll all take up once you incorporate the fruit into things. If you have one of those old school plastic juice jugs with a cap (like this one) you’ll be fine.
2ish cups of fruit
I like to use a combination of berries and citrus, but you can use pretty much any summertime fruit that won’t fall apart while hanging out in liquid.
1 bottle of wine
I usually use a light or medium bodied red, like a Merlot or a Beaujolais. Nothing too intense, you want to leave room for the other flavours to come through.
About ¼ cup of liqueur or liquor
I like to use brandy but you could throw in just about anything you like. St. Germain elderflower liqueur is becoming pretty popular, and orange flavoured liqueurs like Grand Marnier are perennial favourites.
Soda to top up
I like to use club soda because it’s clear and doesn’t add sweetness to the concoction. Depending on how sweet you like your Sangria you might want to add something like Sprite, 7Up, or even ginger ale. The key here is to use a clear soda so you retain the pretty colour you’ll get from the wine.
Other Possible Tweaks
Once you get the hang of the general outline of Sangria and find your own personal preference there are a bunch of tweaks you can make depending on what you’re in the mood for.
- Use white wine instead of red (anything unoaked would be fine here)
- Experiment with different combinations of fruits
- Play around with the liqueurs/liquors
- Add herbs, like basil or mint
- Make your own soda and use that (especially handy if you have a Sodastream)
- Add in some fruity bitters, like orange or pear
And that’s about it! Super simple, completely delicious. You’re welcome.