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Save crappy wine by making this Ultimate Sangria

Save crappy wine by making this Ultimate Sangria

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Save crappy wine by making a simple sangria

This recipe is modified from a giant batch recipe shared with me by Stephen Seibert, the mixologist who created cocktail recipes for Jose Garces' flagship restaurant Amada. Double it to make a 3-liter boxed-wine batch. You can use any fruit you like, or leave it out entirely.

Make sangria a few hours ahead of time and keep it chilled until serving. Pour over ice cubes and top with club soda to lighten it up. Or not. Either way.

Basic Sangria

Go Get This:

1.5L magnum of wine
2-4 cups cheap brandy, to taste
2-3 cups triple sec, to taste
1-2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice, to taste
1/2 to 1 cup simple syrup, to taste (equal parts near-boiling water and sugar)
Pear and apple, brunoised (small dice)
Strawberries, halved
Blueberries, whole
Oranges, sliced in rounds
Club soda

Now Do This:

Pour the wine into a giant pitcher or jar, or work in batches in a smaller jug. Add the minimum amounts of brandy, triple sec, lemon juice and simple syrup and taste. Adjust as you like it. Stir in washed/sliced fruit and refrigerate until service.To serve, pour over ice cubes and top with club soda, if desired.

Vary the basic recipe by adding fresh-squeezed OJ, peach nectar or other juices, or by infusing the simple syrup with herbs or spices. Just be sure to scale back on the syrup to keep things in balance.

The Ultimate Sangria Recipe

The Spanish are responsible for some of the greatest inventions in the world - tapas, paella, flamenco dancing and er, SANGRIA.

The traditional Spanish punch is pretty simple to make, but the flavours marry together to form one of our fave drinks ever.

What is in Sangria?

Sangria usually consists of red wine, chopped fruit, orange juice, and another form of alcohol, like brandy.

Can you only make Sangria with red wine?

While it's tradition to use red vino, I love making sangria with white, rosé and even fizzy wine, too. The great thing about this drink is that it can be open to interpretation, and there's tons of twists to the original recipe.

What wine should you use in Sangria?

Look, I like to splash out on a good bottle like the next person, but the beauty of this drink, is that you don't need to. Sangria is actually the PERFECT punch for a more budget, purse-friendly vino, because it's being mixed with a sweet mixer and fruit.

However, I'd go for something dry, as a sweeter wine can be too much with the fruit. I tend to always go for a garnacha or pinot noir, to lift the fruitiness of the sangria - but I wouldn't say no to a merlot or cabernet sauvignon either.

What mixer do you use?

Traditionally, lemonade does the trick, but don't be afraid to try it with orange juice mixed with a little soda water if you prefer.

What spirit do you use?

Be a little careful, as this punch is pretty alcoholic already, and you only need a splash of something else to finish it off. Orange liqueur, brandy and sherry are all good options.

And for garnish?

Go crazy here! Apple, slices of orange, wedges of lemon - you name it, chuck 'em in.

  • Place the orange chunks, apple, and sugar in a large pitcher and muddle with a muddler or wooden spoon until fruit resembles a thick paste.
  • Add the orange juice and brandy and stir well to combine.
  • Add the wine and stir, then taste and adjust sugar as needed.
  • Add ice and stir once more to chill. Serve as is, or with more ice. Garnish with orange slices.

For more delicious recipes, check out Hot Mess Kitchen by Gabi Moskowitz and Miranda Berman. Published by Grand Central Publishing. Copyright © 2017 Gabi Moskowitz, Miranda Bernman.

How Not to Screw Up Sangria, So You Can Make Fruit & Booze Magic at Home

There's no shame in sangria. Unless it's bad sangria.

Unfortunately, there's a lot of subpar sangria out there these days. It's easy to fall victim to a syrupy glass (or four) of "sugar wine," and wake up the next day with a splitting headache. Sangria should be floral, fruity, and fragrant. It should be easy to sip, but not mindless entertainment. Learn the art of well-balanced sangria and never make these common mistakes again. ¡Salud!

Spanish Rioja is the traditional red wine option, but you can also make Sangria Blanco with white wine, or get really fancy and use sparkling wine, like Cava. Of course, we wouldn't turn down a Rosé-based sangria, either.

"Fruit and brandy can't hide cheap wine," says Bon Appétit recipe developer Rick Martinez. Is this the time to bust out the $250 bottle of Burgundy? Uh, no. But that's no excuse to dump a sour jug wine into a carafe with some sugar and orange slices and hope for the best. Unlike wine that is cooked (as in a sauce or stew), in a sangria, the wine's nuances and subtleties remain intact—for better or worse.

An unripe apricot tastes bland or bitter. A subpar orange is dry and barely sweet. A crappy apple is mealy at best. None of them are satisfying to eat alone, so don't expect alcohol to transform them into something tantalizing. Besides: Part of the magic of sangria is that the sliced fruit releases juices that mix with the alcohol, flavoring and sweetening the entire mix. If the fruit is unripe, there's no juice to jump-start the party.

This sangria-style punch is perfect for your backyard cookout. Photo: Ashley Rodriguez

Yeah, we know it's a cocktail. But just because traditional sangria includes both wine and brandy doesn't mean it's an excuse to don a lampshade on your head and get crazy. "The liquor should complement and bring out the darker notes in the wine, not get your guests drunk," says Martinez. This recipe for Red Wine Sangria, for example, includes only ¼-cup brandy for 4-6 full servings.

Although brandy is traditional, we also like adding intrigue to our sangria with other spirits like pisco, Suze, Cointreau, or St. Germain. Aim for alcohol that has inherently fruity or floral notes, and complements, rather than detracts from, the wine and fruit.

This sangria is great with plums, apricots, or other stone fruits—as long as they're ripe. Photo: Christopher Baker

The fruit should "steep" in the wine and liquor so the flavors meld (kind of like a good salsa), but don't let it all hang out for too long. "The fruit will get mealy and limp, and the sangria will taste bitter," says Martinez. In general, aim for at least 30 minutes but no more than 2 hours, as in this recipe for Blood Orange Sangria. If using sparkling wine, let all of the other ingredients mingle and top it off with the bubbly at the last minute. Otherwise, the wine will go flat.

The ingredients for Trisha Yearwood’s sangria.

Paige Bennett for Insider

Unlike the other two recipes, Yearwood’s fruity white sangria requires no chill time. Instead, she adds ice and recommends serving it immediately.

This sounded great at first, but I started to worry that this might water down the mix since ice is so quick to melt, even in a cold drink.

The recipe calls for colorful fruits — like blueberries, raspberries, mango, orange, and apple — as well as white wine, apple brandy and juice, and ginger ale.

Best White Sangria Recipe

This white sangria recipe was a labor of love. I hope you love it as much as I do!!

White sangria is my new favorite summer drink! I’ve been experimenting for several days to try to find the best white sangria recipe, and one that tastes just like the one at my favorite restaurant. I never cared much for red sangria, but when I discovered the white variety . . . oh boy!

I discovered in my white sangria recipe “research” (ahem) that there are a gazillion different ways to make a sangria.

How to Make the BEST White Sangria Recipe

The basic components of sangria are fruit, wine, and a liqueur. Some add fruit juice or club soda, and most add a sweetener. The key is to let it sit for several hours so the flavors blend together. A white sangria recipe uses . . . wait for it . . . white wine! Red sangria uses red.

I used sauvignon blanc for the wine because that’s what I usually have in the house. You could also try Pinot Grigio. Sangria recipes usually call for brandy or cognac. I went ahead and bought cognac, and I also added some Triple Sec. I liked that better than straight orange juice — I tried it both ways.

For the best white sangria recipe you’ve ever had, gather an assortment of your favorite summer fruits, slice them and place them in a pretty pitcher. I used a lime, a lemon, half an orange, a plum, a peach, an apricot and a handful of cherries.

Cover them with the wine, your liqueur of choice, and MY SUPER SPECIAL SECRET INGREDIENT, mint-infused simple syrup. I already keep this on hand for my famous mojito recipe, and when I finally decided to try it in my white sangria, that’s when it all came together! I use 3/4 cup of the simple syrup to achieve my desired sweetness. If you don’t like sweet drinks, you may want to try it with less first. You can always add more.

Garnish with fresh mint and a slice of lime, and then tell me if this isn’t the best sangria you’ve ever tasted!

To Hypercant or Not Hypercant?

Some science types have suggested using a blender on wine. Hypercanting is a bit of a misnomer—whipping wine through a blender is really the process of hyperaeration, but that doesn't sound as nifty as hypercanting.

Inventor Nathan Myhrvold believes that pulsating wine for 30 to 60 seconds will do what decanting does, but much more quickly. An immersion hand blender would work for this process, too.

On the surface, this makes sense, but in many taste tests, people preferred the traditionally decanted wine to the hypercanted version, saying that the latter tasted flat or bland. Some people have pointed out that in very high-speed blenders, the motor runs so swiftly that it can warm up the wine and ruin the delicate balance of flavors.

Our verdict? You may want to try hypercanting on a very low-risk bottle of vino. Two-Buck Chuck sounds just about right.

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Sure, you can buy strawberry lemonade at the store, but why? If you've already picked up a box of strawberries you're halfway there. Also, your Strawberry Sangria will be ten times better if you take the time to make this simple ingredient.

Making your own Strawberry Lemonade is very easy and it should take just a few minutes. To get the 1 1/2 cups needed for the Sangria, simply double this fresh strawberry lemonade recipe (or make more and enjoy an afternoon drink). The only additional ingredients you will need are a couple of lemons and simple syrup.

Again, the syrup is very easy to make. You can even use the remainder to replace the sugar in the Sangria recipe (there's no need to dissolve syrup).

All of this effort will be worth it because you will have created the freshest Strawberry Sangria possible. Enjoying and sharing the fresh fruits of the season is, after all, one of the joys of summer (save the conveniences for the dead of winter).

What makes this The Best Red Wine Sangria?

This recipe is thought of as “the best” because it best emulates what you might sample if you were to visit Spain or Portugal. I’m not sure how authentic it is, but everyone seems to love it. I’m delighted that this does not turn out to be the god-awful sweet version of red wine sangria that I’ve had so many times. There is sugar in the recipe– but not an overwhelming amount. Munch on the wine-soaked orange slices after the sangria is gone. Whooo – eeeee! yum. This recipe is a definite keeper.

I love to make this recipe to share between just my husband and me. It only calls for one bottle of red wine, and we don’t have any problem drinking a bottle of wine between us! Double or triple the recipe to serve at a party.

More Summer Drinks

  • Another summer sangria I want to try is this pineapple sangria I found while poking around Pinterest. Looks delicious!
  • Be sure to stop by my cocktail section here on the blog to find even more refreshing drink options for your summer BBQ’s like the classic Pina Colada, Easy Bourbon Slush, Sex on the Beach, or this Cranberry Sangria!

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