One doesn’t need to be an expert on wine or fruit in order to make some frighteningly tasty sangria. In fact, it’d take some serious effort to make a bad batch of the traditional Spanish beverage. All you gotta do is pick out just about any red or white wine—bold, dry, or fruity, but nothing too sweet or expensive—and add in your choice assortment of fruit. (To keep my recipes somewhat traditional, I like choosing a Spanish import bottle like Rioja, Tempranillo, or Grenache.) Sangria is an easy-to-make alcoholic beverage, so you can play around with the simple base recipe each time and make it more or less complex. The key is to let the wine-and-fruit mixture steep overnight so the flavors can marinate. The result: a stiff, refreshing, fruit-forward wine punch that drinks easier than a straight glass of wine on summer’s hottest days. You can do more or less of the fruits suggested here and adjust for less sugar (or no sugar!) according to your palate. Here’s one foolproof recipe that’ll keep your friends, family, and barbecue guests making consecutive trips to the drink dispenser.
2 bottles (or 1500 ml) of red wine
1 lime, thinly sliced
1 orange, sliced and quartered
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 apple, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup apple brandy
3/4 cup sugar (optional)
1 1/2 cups seltzer (optional)
STEP 1: Cut the fruit and mix with wine.
Pour red wine into a large pitcher or drink dispenser. Add your choice of sliced fruit. (For white sangria, it’s even harder to go wrong; you can pick pretty much any white wine—from a Pinot Gris to a dry Riesling. I recommend choosing a couple seasonal summer fruits like nectarines and strawberries, along with Granny Smith apples, lemon, and lime.)
STEP 2: Add some flavor.
Pour orange juice, brandy, and sugar into the wine-and-fruit brew. Stir until sugar dissolves.
STEP 3: Let it steep overnight.
Cover your sangria vessel with a lid and/or cellophane (because it’s also ant season) and let it steep overnight on the counter or in the fridge. (Since the sangria is served over ice, you don’t need to refrigerate while steeping, but you can if you’re worried about the punch melting the ice too quickly.)
STEP 4: Add seltzer, serve over ice, garnish.
After your sangria has steeped for up to 12 hours (again, this part is key), and is ready to serve, pour in the seltzer water. Serve over ice and garnish with a small spoonful of fruit from the mixture.
If the sangria pot starts to get low, just add more wine!