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.