True story: When my boyfriend and I went to Las Vegas last summer, I paid $13 for a glass of sangria by the pool. And crazy as that was, it was worth every penny. When it’s hot outside and you want to enjoy a cool and slightly intoxicating beverage, there is nothing better than sangria. NUH-THING.
People seem to be intimidated by the idea of making sangria, but it’s actually a perfect choice. Although it takes a tiny bit of forethought, it’s quick to prepare and completely open to improvisations and creative additions.
The basics of a good sangria are:
• Other alcohol
• Optional extras
Although sangria is typically made with red wine, white wine, and even rose can also be amazing. You could even consider using sparkling wine. Use whatever you have on hand.
Sangria just needs that extra kick. Consider using brandy, rum, vodka, peach schnapps, triple sec, Cointreau, tequila, or a fruity liqueur (though not all at once!)
Traditionally you would use lemons, limes, and oranges, but anything goes here.
You may also want to add some fruit juice, especially if you’re pressed for time and aren’t able to let the fruit marinate for a long while. A half-cup of juice (orange, cranberry, pomegranate, etc.) will really mellow out your sangria nicely.
The standard is club soda, but you can use tonic water, ginger ale, Fresca, or any other carbonated beverage. It’s up to you whether you choose to use one with artificial sweeteners or not.
Use caution when adding this, as you may not want it too sweet. If you’ve used juice or a sweetened soda, you might not need any. To use white, brown, raw, or any other granulated sugar, microwave it with a couple tablespoons of water to dissolve it first. You can also use a liquid sweetener like honey or agave nectar. I would start with just a tablespoon or two to start and see what you like.
These include fun goodies like garnishes and herbs. Try adding fruit wedges, frozen berries, fresh mint, lemongrass, basil, or even rosemary.
Pour a bottle of wine into a pitcher. Top with your other alcohol, 1/4 – 1/2 cup, depending on how you feel. Add your chopped fruit and/or any juice. Add your sweetener. Give a good stir and refrigerate for at least an hour. Add the soda at the time of serving.
The sangria I photographed for this post was one I called Extreme Berry Sangria. It was made with strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, with a half-cup of raspberry vodka, a half-cup of pomegranate juice, a couple tablespoons of honey, and about 2 cups of carbonated water. It was delicious.
You can absolutely use your imagination here though. Here are a few additional suggestions to get you started:
Classic Sangria: Red wine, brandy, lemon, lime, oranges, simple syrup, club soda
The Cosmo Sangria: Red wine, triple sec or Cointreau, limes, cranberry juice, tonic water. Garnish with frozen cranberries and lime wedges.
Bellini Sangria: White wine, peach schnapps, peach juice, chopped peaches, top with champagne instead of soda, garnish with mint.
Pink Lady Sangria: Rose wine, vanilla vodka, chopped strawberries, a splash of cream soda.
Coming-On-Autumn Sangria: Red Wine, Brandy, sliced red apple, sliced pear, honey, ginger ale, garnish with cinnamon sticks.
Yes, it is very important that whatever combination you come up with, you give it a cute name. Guaranteed to taste 25% better that way and if sangria wasn’t the drink you’re looking for, I am sure you’ll enjoy the Kir Royale Cocktail.
Not getting it right? Check out the Sangria recipe in the video below for tips and recipes