Written for and published in the July 2019 issue of South Shore Senior News
What mixed beverage screams summertime louder than Sangria? Sangrias are a staple at BBQs, cookouts, picnics, pool parties, and even beachside. Not only are they fruity, delicious, refreshing, and a crowd favorite, but they are incredibly simple to make. In fact, there are very few hard and fast rules when it comes to concocting a sangria recipe. A bottle of your favorite wine and pretty much anything else, mixed with some fruit: boom, sangria.
Traditionally, this Spanish drink starts with Rioja, a Spanish red wine based on the Tempranillo grape, mixed with various fruits, and sweetened with sugar and orange juice. Nowadays, it is common to make sangria with any style wine you wish, whether red, white, rose, dry, sweet, or even sparkling. The additions are also a free-for-all: your favorite fruit juice, other spirits such as brandy or vodka (flavored or plain), seltzers or sodas, and of course a variety of fruit. Served cold on ice, this refreshing drink can transform anyone into a mixologist for the day.
When I make sangria, vodka is my spirit of choice. There are so many delicious flavored vodkas on the market, and mixing them creates some unique and exciting flavors. I like to soak my fruit in the spirits for a few hours, if not overnight, before mixing the rest of the ingredients, but that is certainly your choice. Below are three of my favorite, simple sangria recipes you can enjoy this summer.
Red Wine Sangria
* 2 bottles of Spanish red wine
* ¾ cup raspberry vodka
* ¾ cup pomegranate vodka
* Sprite Zero (1 – 2 cans to taste)
* Sliced/chopped fruits: orange slices, strawberries, blueberries
Blend both vodkas in a pitcher and add sliced/chopped fruit and berries, allowing to soak in the refrigerator for 2-12 hours. Once fruit has soaked, add in the wine and chill until ready to serve. Immediately upon serving, add in your preferred amount of Sprite Zero or other carbonated citrus based beverage of your choice. Serve over ice.
Add all ingredients into a pitcher and refrigerate for a few hours. Stir prior to serving and pour over ice. Optionally, top with a mint leaf for garnish.
Based upon White Sangria with Mangoes and Berries
* 2 bottle of rose’ wine
* 1 liter ginger ale
* 2 cups pineapple juice
* 1 can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
* 2 (10 ounce) packages of frozen strawberries, thawed
Stir the strawberries, lemonade concentrate, rose wine, and pineapple juice in a punch bowl or large pitcher until combined. Stir in the ginger ale just before serving. Based upon Pretty In Pink Sangria
The fun in making sangria is in the experimentation. Try different wines, different spirits, juices, sodas, and fruits and have a blast creating your own signature recipes!