Brunch, Drink

Red wine sangria (or make it virgin)

Red wine sangria (or make it virgin)

I usually make a batch of sangria at least once a year. It’s definitely the most refreshing way to enjoy wine in the summer!

This is strong and not overly sweet when it is chilled and it does need to be served chilled. There’s quite a bit of added brandy to make up for the added juice and it is likely strong enough to serve with your choice of fizzy water (sparkling water, club soda, etc), which you’ll want to add in just before serving to prevent it from going flat. And you can always add more brandy later if the sangria turns out to not be stiff enough for your taste!

I drink it on the rocks without anything added because I’m not a big fan of fizzy drinks and it’s strong enough that I typically won’t want more than one glass. If you’re like me, you might actually want to start with only 1/2 cup of the brandy and then add more as needed.

You don’t need to use good wine to make sangria. I make it using half of a jug of wine and I’ve used boxed wine, as well.

The yield of this recipe is large enough to make it worth the work of hand-squeezing citrus but not large enough that I end up feeling sick of sangria and not wanting it again for a year. I hand-squeeze the citrus into a glass measuring cup with a spout and I put a strainer over the mouth of the measuring cup to catch any seeds and pulp. It’s hard to tell how much juice citrus will yield; choose softer oranges and limes and get extra just in case. That being said, there’s quite a bit of fruit in this sangria. You can use half the fruit if you won’t want to garnish every glass with steeped fruit.

I like to cut the fruit into slices because it is much prettier and photogenic that way, and because the fruit is heavier so it’s less likely to hit you in the face as you drink it (I know you know what I’m talking about!). But it is easier to serve when the fruit is cut into wedges.

If you’d like to add berries, you can add them right before you serve the sangria. Strawberries in particular will fade and gray.

When I make sangria for parties, I usually make a virgin batch as well. The recipe is pretty much the same but I replace the wine and brandy with grape juice and I reduce or skip the added sugar since juice already has lots of sugar.

Red wine sangria (or make it virgin)

Red wine sangria (or make it virgin)

Yield is approximately 3.5 liters (3.7 quarts)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice (I got mine from 2 medium oranges)
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice (I got mine from 3 limes)
  • 6 tablespoons (89 ml) sugar (increase if you prefer a sweeter sangria)
  • 68oz (2 l) red wine (I used half of a 4-liter jug of Carlo Rossi Burgundy)
  • 3/4 cup (177 ml) brandy (I used St-Remy VSOP)
  • 1 green apple, pitted and cut into thin slices
  • 1 red apple, pitted and cut into thin slices
  • 1 peach, pitted and cut into thin slices
  • 2 limes, cut into thin slices
  • 2 small oranges, cut into thin slices
  • 34 oz to 50 oz (1 to 1.5 l) sparkling water or club soda, to taste (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the orange juice, lime juice, and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in the wine, brandy, and fruit. I add the fruit in as I slice it to prevent it from browning or drying out.
  3. Chill for at least 8 hours.
  4. Serve over ice. Add sparking water or club soda right before serving if desired. I would do it per glass, filling it with 2/3 sangria, 1/3 fizzy water. You could also do half-half.

Yield

Red wine sangria (or make it virgin)

Tips

Virgin sangria

  • Replace the wine with a 2-quart (1.86-liter) jug of grape juice and skip the brandy. You might also want to skip the added sugar, depending on how much sugar is in the grape juice already.

Serve chilled

  • Chill the sangria in the fridge for at least 5 hours, preferably at least 8 hours, to give the flavors a chance to combine.

Adjust the strength

  • If you’re planning on drinking it straight, without any added fizzy water, start out with 1/4 cup (59 ml) of brandy and add in more to taste.
  • If, on the other hand, you’d like to add in lots of fizzy water or prefer stiffer drinks, you might want to increase the brandy to 1 cup (236 ml).

Adding berries

  • Berries look nice but will disintegrate quickly and won’t do much for the taste if they steep. You can add 1/2 cup (118 ml) of berries to the sangria just before serving, or in small quantities individually per glass. I would add raspberries, blueberries and/or strawberries (hulled and quartered).

Did you make this?

  • If you recreate this recipe, I’d love to know! Leave a comment here and tag @alickofsalt on social media.

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