Sangria

If you’ve been reading/following this blog for a while, you’ll recognize the post and recipe below. The original post is from 2014, and I reposted it last year around this same time.

I’m updating the post, however, because I have tweaked the recipe. This was not because I didn’t like the original recipe. It was because I wanted to make sangria, and I didn’t have any brandy, nor did I have any Italian red wine.

I usually keep on-hand Evan Williams Cherry Whiskey. Don’t laugh, it’s good. Some of you like Fireball…well, I like EW Cherry. I like Fireball, too, by the way, but not in this recipe. And in this recipe, the EW Cherry works very well. So well, in fact, I’m permanently replacing brandy with EW Cherry when I make red sangria. It adds just a hint of sweetness and cherry flavor that gives the sangria a “fruitier” body. I think you will like it, too.

As for the wine, since I didn’t have any chianti or montepulciano, I used a bottle of red zinfandel. It, too, was perfect. If you can find an inexpensive red zin to use in your sangria, go for it. It works well.

I’ve updated the red sangria recipe below to add these new ingredients. Let me know what you think. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Cheers!

Original Sangria Post (2014):

One of my favorite Summer drinks is Sangria. As I’ve mentioned before, we eat a lot of Mexican and Italian foods, and Sangria happens to go well with both. But you don’t have to be eating a burrito to enjoy a good glass of Sangria. It might just be the perfect drink for enjoying while sitting on your deck or patio on a Summer afternoon.

According to my not-so-extensive research, Sangria was made popular – and probably invented – in Portugal or Spain. It remains very popular in both countries, and it ranks up there with the Margarita for drinks that go well with the #41 special at your local Mexican restaurant.

Sangria is a mix of (usually) red wine, fruit juices, sugar, brandy or other liqueur, and soda of some sort. There are MANY recipes out there for Sangria, and if you’re not into playing bartender, you can purchase it at your local wine store. Typically, store-bought Sangria is not expensive, so if you’re on a budget, that might be the way to go.

If, however, you would like to make your own Sangria – and amaze your friends – you might want to try the recipe below. After looking at what must have been six recipes (more not-so-extensive research, right?), I compiled my favorite elements into one recipe that is sure to become a hit at your next party.

Red Sangria (updated 2016)

Ingredients:

1 bottle of Italian red wine (Montepulciano or Chianti) – chilled, if possible. (or Red Zin)
4 ounces of brandy (or Evan Williams Cherry Whiskey)
1/2 cup of sugar
Juice of one lemon, one lime, and one orange
1 can of San Pellegrino Orange Soda Water – chilled

Directions:

Combine the brandy/whiskey and the sugar in a glass mixing cup and warm it in the microwave. Stir frequently and continue warming until the sugar dissolves and you’re left with a high-octane simple syrup. If you like your Sangria to be less sweet, cut back on the sugar.

Pour the brandy/whiskey-syrup into your container and add your chilled orange soda water. Next, add the wine and the fruit juices and stir. That’s all there is to it!

If you’re the fancy type, you can slice some citrus fruit and garnish your glasses. You could even chill the glasses and rim them with sugar. Of course, by the time you did all that, I would have consumed your entire supply of Sangria!

A note on the red wine. We typically purchase Montepulciano for making our Sangria. We find it to be inexpensive ($10) and mellow enough to work well in Sangria. You don’t want an overpowering wine with a bold, oaky taste. If you don’t like the Montepulciano, then feel free to experiment. Just stay away from Cabernet.

At the request of my sister, I modified the above recipe to make a White Sangria. I was at first, shall we say, skeptical. I must admit, however, this White Sangria turned out to be VERY good. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, or if you don’t like red wine, try this.

White Sangria

Ingredients:

1 bottle of white wine (Riesling works well) – chilled, if possible
4 ounces of Prichard’s Key Lime Rum
1/2 cup of sugar
Juice of one lemon, one lime, and one orange
1 can of San Pellegrino Lemon Soda Water – chilled

Directions:

Same as above, just different ingredients! Have fun and enjoy!

Note: Haute Flavor loves Prichard’s Key Lime Rum. It’s also fantastic for making Mojitos and other drinks that call for rum. They also make whisky and other types of rum. Check them out if you get a chance at http://www.prichardsdistillery.com. And no, they did not pay us to say this.

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