My first taste of sangria came years ago while living in Madrid. It has been a summertime favorite ever since. Fruity and refreshing, it is popular with guests and can be (in fact, is best) prepared ahead. Classic sangria consists of wine, chopped fruit, a small amount of sweetener, and brandy.
Citrus fruit is traditional, but apples, peaches, melon, grapes, berries, and mango are all good options. I like a lot of fruit and always include an apple for its crisp, sweet bite. Adding seltzer water or club soda is also the norm, however, you may experiment with Sprite or 7-Up. Rioja or Beaujolais are good wine choices, or use your favorite white wine for a sangria blanca.
- 1 small lemon or lime, halved and sliced (I like to use half of each)*
- 1 orange, quartered and sliced
- 1 small apple, cored and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 bottle fruity red wine (such as Rioja or Beaujolais)
- 1/3 cup brandy (Cognac)
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur (such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
- 1 cup seltzer or club soda, chilled**
- Ice cubes
- In a large pitcher or bowl, mix the sugar with the lemon and/or lime slices and muddle a bit with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add the remaining ingredients except the seltzer or club soda and ice.
- Chill several hours or overnight. Just before serving, stir in seltzer or club soda and ice.
- *If you prefer all of the fruit in the sangria to be edible, you may omit the lemon or lime. This will also remove a hint of tartness for those who prefer a sweeter cocktail. In this case, muddle the sugar with a few of the orange slices.
- **For added sweetness, replace the seltzer or club soda with a citrusy soda like Sprite or Fresca.