Sangria is the perfect party drink. It almost pains me to say that because you could argue that my favorite drink, margaritas (plural because why would you just have one?), is the ultimate party drink because they contain tequila and tequila = party, plain and simple. Sadly, not everyone shares my affinity for tequila, or margaritas, so sangria has more crowd appeal. Sangria can also be made fairly inexpensively, which is also helpful if you are serving lots of people. You can use whatever ordinary wine is currently on sale at the liquor store and no one ever knows because you are infusing it with lots of different flavors.
Sangria will be the easiest thing to make on your party menu, just follow these few rules:
- GIVE IT TIME. I’m talking several hours, overnight even. You can’t throw some fruit in pitcher with a bottle of wine an hour before your guests arrive and expect it to rock anyone’s world. The longer it hangs out, the better.
- ALWAYS ADD BOOZE!! Traditional sangria is often made with brandy and sometimes I add that too, but at the very very least, add in some triple sec because it makes many alcoholic drinks even better. More specifically, citrus/orange goes with just about every fruit, so adding in some orange liquor gives your sangria another layer of complimentary flavor. It stays quietly in the background; most people won’t know it’s there, but it’s an important addition.
- MAKE LOTS. If you think you are making enough, make more. I have run out too often and wished that I actually made twice the amount. If you have leftovers, strain the fruit out, freeze the liquid, and then make it into a sangria slush. Honestly, do you know anyone that would turn down a boozy granita?
- STURDIER FRUIT HOLDS UP BEST. Berries in particular start looking a bit sad after they soak in the wine. They get limp and lose their color. If you are intent on having berries in there, strain them out before serving and throw in some reserved berries at the end so they still look vibrant. Apples, pears, peaches, mango, and any kind of citrus all work and hold up really well. You don’t want your fruit to turn to mush because one of the best parts of sangria is eating the fruit that has been soaking in wine for the past 8 hours! If it’s your party and you get all of the leftovers – jackpot. That’s all I have to say.
You can use any kind of wine. I try to not add a lot of extra sugar, if any, to my sangria so I try to use a wine that’s slightly sweet but not overly so. Usually, if it’s a white wine sangria, I gravitate to pinot grigio because it has just enough sweetness for me, but use whatever kind of white wine that you prefer. Sample the sangria before you serve it; you can always add some sugar or other sweetener at the end if need be. Once it’s ready to go, serve as is, or top it with some sparkling water for a lower calorie and bubblier alternative. Cheers!
For 1 serving (about 6 oz.) plus 3/4 cups of boozy fruit
Calories: 250 Fat: 0.4g Sugar: 13g Fiber: 2.7g Sodium: 1.7mg
- 1.5 L white wine (equals 2 standard bottles or 1 magnum bottle), I like pinot grigio
- 1/2 cup triple sec or other orange liquor
- 4 peaches, peeled and sliced
- 1 1/2 cups raspberries
- 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
- sparkling water, if desired
- 1. Combine wine, liquor, lemon, and peaches in a pitcher.
- 2. Cover and let it sit in the refrigerator 4-6 hours, or overnight if possible.
- 3. Add raspberries right before serving.
- 4. Top each serving with sparkling water, if desired.