Recipe: Sangria, in four variations
Spain's fruity wine drink is refreshing for summer — especially in a light, white-wine version.
Tampa Bay Times
Americans love sangria, here and abroad, even if the Spanish consider it a cheap party drink whose main purpose is to lubricate a crowd. But sangria doesn't have to be made with sketchy wine, and its adaptability to all sorts of fruits makes it an every-season drink.
The trick with making sangria is to chill it for at least 24 hours before serving. This allows the fruit juices to marry with the wine and liqueurs. If you're in a real rush, make it in the morning to serve in the evening. Anything less and you won't get the full flavor of the drink.
If the recipe calls for carbonated soda, add that right before serving to preserve the fizz.
When selecting a wine for sangria, you should subscribe to the same advice as you would for cooking with wine. Don't use something you wouldn't drink by itself. But don't go overboard and buy a $25 bottle of wine that you will be diluting with fruit juices, other spirits and ice.
You should be able to find a bottle for $10 or less that will suffice.
For white sangrias, use pinot grigio, moscato, albariño or even a riesling, which comes from Germany. All of these wines bring proper acidity to play off the sweetness of the fruit. For red sangrias, consider rioja from Spain or syrah, merlot or pinot noir.
Sangria is ultimately a very forgiving drink. It works well with most fruits, though stay away from bananas, which tend to disintegrate and make the drink muddy. Plums, nectarines and peaches get along just fine with either red or white wine. Make sure you remove the pits.
And don't forget sturdy apple slices. They keep their shape while soaking up lots of flavors. It's amazing that they still snap after soaking in wine for hours.
White Peach Sangria
1 bottle white wine (such as Spanish albariño)
3 ounces brandy
2 ounces triple sec
1 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
2 ounces simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil for 2 minutes in a small saucepan and cooled. Leftover syrup can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 month)
3 ounces white peach purée (peel peaches, remove pit and purée in a blender with a small amount of water)
Fresh peaches, oranges and apples, sliced
Place all ingredients in a pitcher and stir to mix. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 48 hours. Serve over ice.
— Bobby Flay, Food Network
3 tablespoons sugar
3 shots Calvados or other apple liquor
1 lime, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
2 ripe peaches pitted, cut into wedges
3 ripe green apples, seeded and cut into wedges
1 bottle white Rioja Spanish wine or other dry white wine
1 pint raspberries
1. Sparkling soda water, for topping off glasses of sangria at table
2. Combine sugar, Calvados, lime, lemon, peaches and apples in a large pitcher. Cover with 1 bottle of Rioja wine and chill sangria for several hours.
3. To serve, spoon fruits into glasses or goblets, adding a few fresh raspberries in each glass, then pour wine over the fruit. Top glasses of sangria off with a splash of soda water and serve.
— Rachael Ray, Food Network
Makes about 6 glasses
This white spicy sangria has a definite kick, and is thus not for those who prefer a milder, more mellow version of the refreshment. Imbibe accordingly, and have plenty of iced water on hand!
3 3/4 cups dry white wine
3 tablespoons brandy
2 small red chilies, seeded and quartered
2 medium tart green apples, diced
2 large yellow plums, peeled, pitted and sliced
2 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
1 cup club soda
Combine all the ingredients, except for the club soda, in a large serving pitcher, mixing well. Refrigerate overnight.
Immediately before serving, mix in the club soda for added fizz. Serve over ice.
1 bottle of red wine (cabernet sauvignon, merlot, rioja, zinfandel, shiraz)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 lime, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons sugar
Splash of orange juice or lemonade
2 shots of gin or triple sec (optional)
1 cup of raspberries or strawberries (may use thawed or frozen)
1 small can of diced pineapples (with juice)
4 cups ginger ale
1. Pour wine into a large pitcher and squeeze the juice from the lemon, orange and lime wedges into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds) and pineapple, then add sugar, orange juice and gin or triple sec. Chill overnight.
2. 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.
Tampa Bay Times food and travel editor Janet K. Keeler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.