3 Steps to the Best Sangria

There are fewer things more delightful than Sangria.   I love the way it makes use of any season’s bounty: fresh luscious fruit.  In the winter, citrus abounds, lending itself to combinations of lemon, lime, orange or tangerine Sangria.  In the summer, nature shares her sumptuous flavors of raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, cherries, mangoes.  The freshness and sweetness of the fruit is key to a successful sangria recipe.

Remember – there are no rules to sangria, just 3 simple steps.  It is up to the cocktail queen or king to let their taste, season and mood to shine through.

  1. Liquid: a bottle or two of wine is the base for sangria.  Red, white, rosè, or bubbly, nothing too sweet and nothing too expensive.  You’re not searching for subtleties but for a solid base that will set the tone of your sangria.  For an extra kick add a few shots of brandy, Grand Marnier, berry or fruit liqueur, flavored schnapps or vodka.  For fizz, you may add a can of seltzer, or flavored seltzer before serving.
  2. Fruit: this is your chance to taste the best of the season. Most recipes start with a base of lemon and lime and add to that.  For something tropical, combine mangoes and pineapple.  For Fall flavor, mix apples and citrus.  Celebrate cherry season with deep red cherries, oranges and whatever you please.  Plums and peaches are a great combo, and of course fresh berries are always a hit. For extra sweetness add a few tablespoons of sugar to taste.  But if you have beautiful, ripe and sweet fruit, you don’t need any.  Let the season inspire you.
  3. Soak: for extra juicy flavorful sangria let the fruit soak in the wine for at least eight hours or overnight.  This is a matter of preference.  When soaking, the fruit flavors and wine meld together, creating the most sumptuous sangria.