Sangria is a robust, fruity and very pleasurable summer refresher! This vibrant drink is one of my all-time favorites and lures anyone looking for a cold drink on a hot day to indulge. In the summer I try to have a chilled pitcher on hand for my guests. It feels fancy and instantly festive, but sangria is also one of the easiest big-batch cocktails you can make. Whether you are planner or not, mixing the ingredients the night before makes for a perfectly infused blend of sangria, letting its juices and wine naturally sweeten the drink. The lovely, fruity sweetness of the sangria combines perfectly after resting overnight in the fridge. If you taste the sangria just after mixing it, it will taste harsh or unbalanced. After a night in the fridge, it will mellow and develop a smoother, juicier flavor. Sangria gets better and better as it sits!
Also note, any red wine you enjoy drinking is a good candidate, and it shouldn’t be expensive! Look for a cheaper wine, an inexpensive Rioja from Spain, but you can also use Malbec or Merlot for a sweeter result.
I think this sangria recipe is very forgiving. Through trial and error I have tested many types of fruit in my sangria and found the addition of pineapple to give an interesting exotic flavor. In place of the pineapple, I recommend using ¼ cup of orange juice for a traditional blend.
I also love the addition of ginger beer, adding a kick to the overall taste. If you prefer a more subtle delicate drink, sparkling water is a better option. For fun, adding frozen berries to each cup or pitcher gives a special touch.
Serves: 10-12 people/cups
1 bottle red table wine
1 cup fresh diced pineapples with juice, or canned pineapple pieces
2 shots gin or triple sec
Frozen raspberries or strawberries, optional
4 cups ginger beer, or sparkling water
1. Cut one orange, lemon and lime into thin slices. Reserve half for later. Leave the peels on and transfer half of the slices into a large pitcher.
2. Juice the other orange, lemon and lime and pour over the sliced fruit mixture. Mix in pineapple pieces and juice.
3. Pour the gin (or triple sec) and red wine over the juices in the pitcher.
4. Most sangria recipes call for the wine to rest overnight, or at the very least, for a few hours in the refrigerator. This allows the fruit to infuse the wine, letting its juices get in the mix and sweeten up the drink.
5. Before serving add chilled ginger beer or sparkling water, frozen berries or ice, as desired. Garnish with the reserved citrus slices.
If you would like to serve immediately, use chilled red wine and serve with lots of ice. However, remember that the best Sangria’s are chilled overnight, allowing the flavors to blend.