To me, sangria is the ultimate summertime cocktail. It is ice cold, sweet, and filled with an abundance of fresh fruit. It also makes the perfect party drink, since it can be made ahead of time and in large quantities. While deciding on my menu for a small party I was throwing the other night, I immediately chose sangria as the main beverage. It looked beautiful served in a big glass pitcher with chunks of red-stained fruit (the name "sangria" means bleeding in both Spanish and Portuguese) floating inside.
There are so many different variations of Sangria based on these factors: the fruit used, the color of the wine, if spirits are added, and whether or not it is carbonated. I chose to do my own variation of a recipe I had found on the internet, made mainly with citrus fruits, red wine, and ginger ale (for carbonation). It was quite refreshing and tasty.
Feel free to double or even triple this recipe, depending on the size of your gathering.
1 bottle of red wine
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 lime, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons sugar
A splash of orange juice
1 cup of sliced strawberries or raspberries (may use thawed or frozen)
1 small can of diced pineapples (with juice)
4 cups ginger ale
Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon, orange and lime into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and pineapple then add sugar and orange juice. Chill overnight.
Add ginger ale, berries and ice just before serving.
(If you'd like to serve right away, use chilled red wine and serve over lots of ice. However, remember that the best Sangrias are chilled around 24 hours in the fridge, allowing the flavors to really marinate into each other.)