Sometimes it’s just too hot to drink red wine. Sometimes you just don’t feel like fussing with individual cocktails. And sometimes you need to go a little fancier than beer. Sangria is the answer to all of these quandaries. And here’s the only formula for sangria you’ll ever need…
The wine: A 750-milliliter bottle of fairly light, very dry red wine works best. Give Spanish wines from Rioja a try, and those made with Garnacha grapes. Or get radical and use sparkling wine, rosé, brandy, sherry, or white wine instead of red. Pour the wine into a decent-size pitcher.
The sweetener: It’s easier to add sweetness than to subtract it. Add a cup of orange juice (preferably fresh-squeezed) and 3/4 cup of good-quality orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier) to the wine. Taste it. If that’s about right, move along to the fruit. If you prefer it sweeter, you can add simple syrup (armagazine.com/simple-syrup) or even a bit of ginger ale.
The fruit: Now add large pieces of whatever fresh fruit you like (apples, pears, peaches, oranges, lemons). Also add plenty of small, chopped pieces so each glass has some of those wine-infused bites. Chill the sangria well, then serve over ice. Salud! —JRodewald
This article was first published in the June/July/August 2015 issue of Allrecipes magazine.