When life gives you lemons, the old saying goes, make lemonade. The same can be said for wine drinkers. When you buy a stinker, make sangria.
Especially this time of year when we’re grilling and chilling on the patio or by the pool. The flavorful mix of fresh fruits and juices masks whatever wine you’ve used, and it’s great on ice when thermometer begins to climb (which should be any day now).
A couple reliable go-to recipes for both white and red sangria make entertaining easy, and your guests will appreciate that you made something fresh and gourmet rather than one of those premixed nastiness from grocery store.
Make either sangria the night before and chill in Rubbermaid-style containers, then transfer to a presentation pitcher when your guests arrive. Use fresh fruits and juices, which will make all the difference, and don’t sweat the price-point of the wine you use. Two Buck Chuck is fine. Seriously.
CLASSIC RED SANGRIA
2 small oranges, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 lime, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/2 lemon, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
12 whole strawberries
8 ounces orange liqueur such as triple sec or Cointreau
8 ounces brandy or cognac
8 ounces sparkling water
8 ounces fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 bottle dry red wine
Lime and orange wedges for garnish
Preparation: Chill all ingredients. Place all the fruit and sugar in a large pitcher and muddle. Add orange liqueur, brandy and stir. Add orange juice and wine and gently stir. If possible, allow to rest overnight in the refrigerator. Just before serving, add sparkling water and stir. Serve with or without ice in red wine glasses with a wedge of lime or orange for garnish.
FRESH WHITE SANGRIA
2 cups fresh honeydew, diced
2 peaches, unpeeled, pitted and sliced
1 cup pineapple chunks with juice
1 cup green grapes, cut in half
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1/2 lemon sliced
1/4 cup sugar
4 ounces orange liqueur
4 ounces cup dry gin
8 ounces orange juice
1 bottle dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
1/2 liter sparking water
Preparation: In a half-gallon pitcher, add chopped and sliced fruits and sugar. Add orange liqueur, gin and gently muddle and stir. Add wine and orange juice and stir. Allow to rest overnight in the refrigerator. Add sparkling water before serving and lightly stir. Serve over ice in red wine glasses. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Photo by Askar Abayev