How to make Sangria - Three Delicious Recipes
A chilled glass of fresh, fruity Sangria is the perfect summer beverage for casual entertaining and relaxing. A semi-sweet alcoholic drink, traditionally made by combining wine with citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes, it is the most informal of cocktails and, best of all, very simple to make. As there are no absolute rules to making Sangria you should feel free to experiment with different wines, fruits and liqueurs to develop your own special 'blend'. But, even with the easygoing nature of this delightful drink, there are still some hints and tips that come in handy in making a truly wonderful Sangria. In addition to sharing three basic recipes with you, we'll offer some suggestions too that will help you get on your way to making a truly delicious sangria.
Sweet Fruit and Wine
There's something about the combination of fruit and wine that creates magic in a glass. That's what sangria is... magic in a glass!
...about the wine and the fruit
Red wine has long been the traditional wine for making sangria, but white wine and even champagne can create equally wonderful blends as well. No matter which you choose, it's not necessary to spend a lot of money on the wine - no need for hoity-toity high-priced bottles here. No, no. The wine should be an inexpensive "off the rack" variety, one that will play well with all the delicious companion flavors that it is about to meet. After all, the whole point of sangria is to blend fresh fruits and their juices together with the wine to create a happy marriage of tastiness. And this is why it's so wonderful to enjoy sangria during the lazy days of summer - that's when all those luscious fruits are in season!
Speaking of the fruit, this is where the fun really starts. Each recipe here contains specific fruits to use, but really, you can (and should) try different combinations to find the blend of fruit that suits you and your taste buds. Of course, the citrus fruits of orange, lemon and lime all play an important role in sangria recipes of all kinds, but think outside the box and consider mango, peach, kiwi, pineapple, grapes, strawberries, melon, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries - they're all welcome additions and will be delicious.
Thinking about buying a pre-mixed bottle of sangria?
Perish the thought! Those mass-produced concoctions will never measure up to a fresh batch of home-made!
You'll need something pretty to serve your Sangria in
A large capacity pitcher and generous glassware are musts for serving your sangria - you'll need room for all that delicious fruit to float around. A clear glass is also preferable so that you can see all the beautiful colors made by the fruit and wine.
Set of six large 16-ounce goblets with a 90-ounce capacity pitcher.
A common ingredient in drink recipes
Simple syrup is commonly used in many sangria recipes and is very simple to make. It consists of just two ingredients - sugar and water - and serves as a richer, smoother substitute for raw sugar. You can buy simple syrup, also called sugar syrup, in a store, but making your own is much more economical and you can make as small or as big a batch as you wish. Store it the refrigerator in a well sealed bottle and it will last 6 months. So go ahead, make a large batch - just think of all the sangria you can make with it!
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
In a medium saucepan combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Helpful tips for making Sangria
Before you jump into the recipes below, there's just a few more things that will help make your sangria better and more enjoyable.
Part of the fun of sangria is how alluring it looks with all that colorful fruit. To make it even more appealing, vary the way you cut the fruit, creating different shapes instead of just quartering everything. Peaches, apples, and mangos are adorable cut into cubes. Melons always look yummy when shaped into balls, and oranges, lemons, and limes look their best cut into thin slices, or wheels. To vary it up even more, then cut them in half again to turn your wheels into 'half-wheels'. Go crazy.
And always remember sangria is best when it has been allowed to age a little bit. Whenever possible, make your sangria the day before you plan to drink it so it has time to develop all its wonderful deep flavors. The best sangria is a one where the wine and fruit and other ingredients have been mixed, tightly covered, and placed in the refrigerator overnight. If you don't have time to wait that long, at the very least give your sangria a minimum of several hours to blend before drinking. It will make all the difference in the world. And to keep it refreshing, always keep your sangria cold, and serve it cold - usually over ice.
The traditional favorite
This simple Spanish sangria is a basic recipe that can be modified, added to, and played with over and over again.
1 bottle red wine
1/4 cup cognac
1/4 cup orange curacao
1/4 cup simple syrup
2 oranges, cut into half-wheels
2 peaches, cut into cubes
2 lemons, cut into half-wheels
Place all of the ingredients in a large glass pitcher and stir well. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Serve over ice in large capacity glass. Garnish with additional fruit if desired
A variation that's light and bright
2 (750-ml) bottles dry white wine, like Pinot Grigio
1 1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup triple sec
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 oranges, sliced
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/2 apple, cubed
Large bunch grapes, stemmed
In a large pitcher, whisk together the wine, orange juice, triple sec and brandy. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the sliced orange, lemon and apple, along with the grapes. Cover pitcher with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Serve over ice with fruit slices as garnish.
A yummy personal favorite!
This recipe comes courtesy of Tony Abou-Ganim and the National Mango Board.
3/4 cup mango puree (from a ripe mango)
6 large strawberries, pureed
1 ounce simple syrup
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 bottle Prosecco (or other sparkling wine)
1/2 cup orange liqueur (such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
1/2 cup lime-flavored vodka
Lemon-lime soda, as needed
1 ripe mango, cubed
Fresh strawberry, orange and lemon slices, for garnish
Mint sprigs, for garnish
Place the first nine ingredients into a glass container; cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, pour into an ice-filled pitcher until it’s two-thirds full. Add fresh sliced fruits and top with lemon-lime soda; stir gently. Serve over ice in large Bordeaux glasses with mint sprigs and fresh fruit.
Makes one pitcher (about 10 6-ounce servings)
Custom invitations with a Sangria theme
Pick up a book full of wonderful recipes
There are literally thousands of recipes for Sangria out there that are just waiting for you to give them a try (yes, that's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it).
To get your creative juices (and wine) flowing, here's some wonderful books that will help you on your way!
It's pretty obvious that I just love sangria and think it's the best drink ever. But what about you?