Oh so delicious Sangria!

Sangria sometimes get a bad rap that is not always undeserving.  Like any cocktail, if it is made with pre-mixed ingredients, you will end up with a syrupy sweet concoction that just  doesn’t do this historical drink justice.  I always endorse the use of fresh, quality ingredients in any cocktail, but that’s because I spend too many years behind a bar making them both ways.  The drinks that always got a “Wow!” were the ones that made to order with fresh juices, fruit and  garnishes.

Sangria should be no different.  Yes, it had a humble beginning in Spain but it has grown world-wide to be a refreshing party drink.  For you Jane Austen fans out there, The Claret Cup Punch she wrote about is, in fact, a sangria.  Mrs. Bennet served it after her mischevious daughter Lydia ran off with Wickham to celebrate their marriage, despite the scandal it caused in Pride & Prejudice.  In addition, Mr. Weston served it at his Christmas party, you know, the one where Mr. Elton imbibed too much and revealed his true feelings for the heroine in Emma.  Nearly everyone of Miss Austen’s stories has a party scene in which sangria was served.  And as it should be, sangria is a drink meant to be shared with friends over a punch bowl at a summer party.

But I digress….

Although Sangria is traditionally a punch made from red wine, modern recipes have evolved that use white wine and roses as well.  Rioja has been the most popular base but increasingly we’ve seen on restaurant menus white, rose and sparkling.   So I have decided to share with you my personal recipes for crowd pleasing cocktails.  I know that some people like to add fizz to their sangria so feel free to add seltzer to any of these still wine recipes.

Red Sangria:

1 BIG punch bowl

1 bottle of red wine.  Doesn’t have to be expensive.  I suggest Grenache or Rioja

½ cup of Clement Creole Shrubb (Orange liqeuor…can substitute Grand Marnier or Cointreau)

½ cup of raspberry or citrus flavored rum-depends on how fruity you like it.

¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice

1/3 cup freshly pureed raspberries

Soak overnight in the wine: sliced orange, lime, lemon, raspberries, blueberries, apples and red grapes (halved).  Then mix the rest the ingredients in before serving.  Garnish with a slice of orange and a raspberry skewered.

White Sangria: 

**This recipe also goes great with a sparkling wine like a Cava Brut or Prosecco.

1 BIG punch bowl

1 bottle of white wine.  I like Vinho Verde for the crisp flavors it adds.

½ cup of pear brandy

½ cup of peach flavored rum

¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 cup    of freshly squeezed orange juice

1/3 cup freshly pureed peaches (for something more tropical use mangoes instead)

Soak overnight in the wine: sliced orange, lime, lemon, peach, apple, red and green grapes (halved).  Mix the rest of the ingredients in before serving.  Garnish with a slice of peach and a raspberry skewered.

Rose Sangria:

1 BIG punch bowl

1 bottle of rose.  Something dry and crisp like a rose from Provence.

½ cup of red berry flavored rum

½ cup of fruit liqueur.  I like Thatcher’s Blueberry or Yumberry

¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 cup    of freshly squeezed orange juice

1/3 Cup of freshly pureed strawberries

Soak overnight in the wine: sliced orange, lime, lemon, strawberries (halved), red and green grapes (halved).  Mix the rest of the ingredients in before serving.  Garnish with a slice of strawberry.  Add basil for a delicious kick!

I know these recipes may seem like a lot of work but trust me, the end result is worth the effort.  Get your friends slicing up the fruit and you have got yourself a pre-party!

Happy Sangria making everyone!

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