The sun is moving across the sky, reflecting brightly on wispy clouds as sea air drifts through my window. Whether taking summertime in from the waterfront, the city terrace, or a porch in the countryside (I plan to do all three in the next six days), we suggest you do so with a glass of sangría -- you know, the delicious red wine cocktail that makes every beautiful day even better -- in your hand. We originally published Meghan's recipes for red and sparkling sangría last year, and think we'll make an annual tradition of sharing them with you. Enjoy!
...and, if you find yourself in Washington, DC or New York City, make a point of stopping for a pitcher of the two best sangrías this side of the Atlantic Ocean at Washington's Joselito - Casa de Comidas or New York's Buceo 95. Both know too well that which you must remember when making your own: never mix the ice in the pitcher, always put your ice in the glass, and pour your sangría over top.
Wine:Thirty Flight's Sparkling Sangría
Mix as many bottles of sparkling wine you like into a pitcher or some other container. We recommend using Cava (essentially a sparkling wine from Spain) to stay traditional, though a mild Prosecco may work if you want something a little sweeter. We like to stick with Cava, though. It's usually easy enough to find some in the $10(ish) range.
Pour the Cava over frozen mixed berries (buy these in the frozen foods section, one bag per bottle you're mixing) in a pitcher or some other container. Let chill and steep for an hour, then serve.
We recommend serving in stemless wine glasses or rocks glasses to give you room for the berries, which act as ice cubes. Add some peaches if you're feeling adventurous!
Wine:Thirty Flight's Traditional Red Sangría
Mix as many bottles of red wine as you like into a pitcher or some other container. We recommend Garnacha from Spain in the $6 to $12 per bottle range (these should not be difficult for you to find). Tempranillo also works, but we find that Garnacha's big fruit characteristics work a bit better. There is no reason to spend a lot of money on wine you are about to turn into sangria. Using the "Viña Borgia" -- a Spanish red very commonly available in the United States -- from a box will net you the equivalent of four bottles at a great price!
For each one bottle of chilled red wine you mix, throw in:
- 1/2 lime (squeeze it in, then drop the remains in)
- 1 orange (same as with the lime)
- 1/2 to 1 can Diet Ginger Ale (we are Canada Dry fans)
- 2 shots pomegranate liqueur
- 1/2 bag frozen mixed berries
Let this mixture steep in the fridge anywhere from an hour to a day. The longer you let it work, the more integrated the flavors will become. Be careful letting it sit more than a day, though, because the citrus peel / rind can make the whole thing a little bitter after too long. An hour will give you a nice result in a pinch, though.
Fill some basic rocks glasses with ice, and pour over. Add an orange slice for added flair, though we must admin that we're usually so content sipping the stuff that flair is the furthest thing from our minds!