With the temperatures soaring over the past few weeks we all look for that perfect, refreshing summer drink. A cold beer is always inviting on a hot summer afternoon, however it does tend to be somewhat filling. One of our favourite summer drinks is Sangria.
Sangria is a fruit-based wine punch that originated in Spain hundreds of years ago and was introduced to the rest of the world at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. Typically sangria is made with red wine, fruit juice and fresh seasonal fruit and fortified with brandy or other spirits. If red wine is not to your liking then white or sparkling wine can also be used.
“Fruit forward” reds such as Tempranillo or Grenache from Spain or an inexpensive Merlot work best. If you prefer white sangria choose a crisp aromatic white such as Riesling, Pinot Grigio or an unoaked Chardonnay.
Below is a basic recipe to get you started. Feel free to experiment by using different flavoured liqueurs and fruit juices and adapt the flavours to suit your personal taste.
Basic Sangria Recipe
- 1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine
- Juice of 1 large orange
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 large orange, sliced thin crosswise
- 1 large lemon, sliced thin crosswise
- 1/2 cup cognac
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur
- Simple syrup to taste *
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz) club soda (optional)
Combine all the ingredients except for the club soda in a large pitcher, mixing well. Refrigerate overnight. Immediately before serving, mix in the club soda (if desired) for added fizz. Serve over ice.
*To make simple syrup heat two parts sugar and one part water until sugar is dissolved. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.