Warm summer nights and sangria – they’re quite a lovely pair if you ask me.
That’s why when the perfect evening comes along for enjoying the patio in the balmy twilight, I start thinking “Let’s make sangria!”
I like to think of sangria as fruit punch, but with a little kick for the grownups. It’s usually a mixture of wine, fruit juices, soda water, and some other type of mellow alcohol. There have been times I’ve ordered sangria in a restaurant and it’s tasted a little TOO much like fruit punch. It’s left me wondering if they just served me some Hi-C instead and got away with calling it sangria.
That’s not so when I mix up my own with this sangria recipe. It has a nice full-bodied wine base that’s enhanced by the fruit, but not overpowered by it. It’s perfect for summer gatherings too and can easily be made in a double or triple sized batch.
It’s also a recipe that has some flexibility. You can use different types of red wines based on your preference (I used Merlot for my most recent batch). For the fruit juice I always look for some type of mango, or peach, or guava, or some type of combination of those. For this batch I found a good sale on V8 Splash Mango Peach juice which was just what I wanted. I’ve found however that fruit juice blends come and go as the manufacturers decide. If you can’t find the more obscure flavors like mango, peach or guava, or you’d rather not spend money on them, you could probably just substitute orange juice instead. Sometimes I substitute an artificial sweetener like Splenda for the sugar too.
Here’s how to do it:
1 – 750 ml Bottle of Dry Red Wine (equal to about 3-1/4 cups)
Merlot, Chianti, Burgundy, or Cabernet Sauvignon are all good choices
1/3 cup Amaretto (you can also make your own Amaretto)
3/4 cup Fruit Juice (I like some type of Mango/Peach/Guava variety)
3/4 cup Club Soda
3 Tablespoons Sugar
Fresh Orange Slices
Fresh Lemon Slices
Combine the wine, amaretto, fruit juice, and club soda in a pitcher. Add in the sugar and stir to dissolve. Finally, add in the fresh fruit slices for extra flavor and decoration. I use the slices from one orange and one lemon.
Chill this mixture before serving. Giving it a little time to set helps the flavors blend together too. I leave the fruit slices in the mixture for a day or two but if there’s any sangria left after that time, I remove the fruit slices because they start to get too mushy.