Summertime = Sangriatime. :-)
So for a happy hour with some friends at my place last week, I decided to put some fresh fruit to use and make some yummy pitchers of sangria for everyone to enjoy on the deck! Unfortunately, though, our crazy Midwest weather kicked the temperature over the 100 degree mark that day. So we ended up enjoying a lovely evening together…in the air-conditioning. :-)
But the sangria still rocked! This happened to be the one day of the summer that I somehow didn’t have fresh berries in the fridge. So ended up just going with oranges, lemons and limes…and it was great!! Since I ended up making a double-batch for the size of our group, I actually combined a bottle of Merlot with some boxed wine we had leftover from a wedding. But hey — that’s the joy of sangria! With all of the other yummy flavors in there, you don’t need a really expensive bottle of wine to make good sangria.
Anyway, this batch ended up being a stellar success. My friends all gave it rave reviews — even without the addition of sugar. I tend to find that the longer you let it sit in the fridge, the less sweetener you need and (of course!) the more fruity the flavor. Yum.
So grab a bottle of wine, whatever fruit you have on hand, and have fun creating your own batch! All the better when enjoyed with good friends. :-)
- 1 bottle (750 ml.) of any dry red wine (I used Merlot)
- 3 oranges, two sliced and one for juicing
- 2 lemons, sliced
- 2 limes, sliced
- 2 Tbsp. sugar (optional – I left it out)
- 1 cup gingerale, club soda, or lemon-lime soda
- 1 shot brandy
Stir together the wine, orange juice, sugar, and brandy in a large pitcher until the sugar is dissolved. Then add in the orange, lemon and lime slices and stir briefly to combine.
Refrigerate the pitcher and let it sit, preferably 8-12 hours for the juices to meld.
Just before serving, stir in the gingerale (or club soda, or lemon-lime soda) until mixed. Then serve the sangria poured over ice, either strained or served with the fruit slices.
Fresh berries (or even frozen) are also a wonderful addition to red sangria! Just be careful (at the recommendation of my friend, Lisa) not to add sliced strawberries in more than a few hours beforehand, as they can turn soggy and watery.