Sangria is colorful to look at, fun and festive to drink and very, very simple to make. The basics of making Sangria are as easy as slicing a lemon. When you visualize sawing into a piece of fruit, S. (sweetener), A. (alcohol), W. (wine) and fruit you are actually thinking of the recipe for Sangria!
Sangria can be made with variety of sweeteners. You can use simple syrup (equal parts of water and sugar dissolved), honey, fruit juices, agave, and infused simples syrups. Brandy is a traditional alcohol that is added to Sangria. Why stop there? Glorious Sangria can be made using flavored liqueurs (orange, raspberry, ginger, blood orange, melon, lemon, blackberry,
etc.), whiskey, flavored vodkas, even Moonshine! You can also customize your Sangria recipe by using different kinds of wine. Red, White, Rose and Champagne all make equally amazing Sangrias.
Fill your pitchers of Sangria with any variety of cut fruit that you and your guests will enjoy. I like to add fruits that complement the theme of my Sangria. Yes, Taylor and I have even made GREEN Sangria for a St. Patty’s celebration! You can, if desired, add touches of fresh herbs (mint, basil, lavender, or rosemary, for example) by adding them directly to the Sangria or by infusing fresh herbs into your simple syrup.
If you desire a lighter and extra refreshing beverage, try adding some seltzer water, flavored sparkling water, lemon-lime soda or ginger ale to the Sangria. For fun, make a frozen ginger ale ice mold and float it in the Honey and Ginger White Sangria (below). To that end, it is nice if you can chill your Sangria for 30 minutes or so before serving, just to give the flavors and chance to meld. Sangria can be served immediately, chilled overnight or even after it has been chilling for a couple of days. Some folks serve Sangria brimming with fruit, some strain out all of the fruit before serving and then garnish each glass with fresh fruits. Experiment to see how you like to make and serve your own recipe for Simple Sangria.
Please remember to S.A.W. your fruits and make a pitcher of Simple Sangria very soon. The recipes below are good places to start. Give them a taste and then adjust the sweetener, the alcohol, the wine and the fruit ratios to suit your preferences. There are absolutely no wrong choices in making Simple Sangria, except, possibly, choosing not to make Sangria at all. Enjoy!
Very Berry Red Sangria
6 Tablespoons Simple Syrup (equal parts water and sugar dissolved over heat, cooled)
3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup Brandy
2 (750 ml) bottles Red Zinfandel (or wine of your choice)
2 cups halved, hulled strawberries
2 pints whole blackberries
2 large seedless, fresh lemons, sliced and quartered
1 pint fresh raspberries
Honey and Ginger White Sangria
2 to 4 Tablespoons Honey (your favorite honey, depends on sweetness)
1/4 cup Ginger liqueur (we used Canton)
2 Tablespoons Orange Brandy (we used Cointreau Noir)
1 750 ml bottle dry White Wine
1 1/2 cups bite sized pieces honeydew melon
1 cup peeled kiwi slices
1/2 cup halved green grapes
2 fresh medium limes, sliced and halved
1/3 cup slivers of candied ginger (optional)
frozen ginger ale ice cubes (optional)
Sara’s Favorite Red Sangria
6 Tablespoons simple syrup
6 Tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
4 Tablespoons blood orange liqueur (we used Solerno)
4 Tablespoons orange liqueur (we used Cointreau)
2 bottles (750 ml bottle) Pinot Noir
2 cups Blood Orange slices
2 cups Navel Orange slices
1 cup sliced star fruit
2 limes, halved, cut into slices
1. To make Sangria, put the sweetener and/or fruit juice into the bottom of a large pitcher or bowl. Add the alcohol and/or liqueurs. Stir to blend the ingredients. Add the wine. Stir. Add the fruits. Stir. Chill Sangria for 30 minutes or up to overnight in the refrigerator. Serve.
©Recipe Sally James Mathis
©Photography Taylor Mathis