In my personal opinion, it’s pretty hard to make a bad sangria.
After all, it’s just booze and fruit. What’s not to love?!
But there are some tricks to making a really good sangria. First, you need to use more than just wine. I always like to fortify mine with a few other tasty liquors which will give it some sweetness and also give it a more complex flavor.
Second, you have to chill it for a few hours at least to give the fruit a chance to macerate in the booze. The difference between a sangria that was just made and a sangria that was made the day before is pretty substantial.
Sangria won the poll last week so I thought I’d do something a bit different and try to spice it up a bit.
This version has some heat to it, but just enough to get your attention!
Yield: Serves 4-6.
1 bottle spicy red wine, Malbec
1/3 cup brandy
1/3 cup triple sec
1 lime, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
2 plums, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Club Soda, for mixing
1) Add wine, brandy and triple sec to a large pitcher.
2) Slice orange, lime, and lemon with rinds on. Add to pitcher.
3) Take out seed from plum and dice. Add to pitcher.
4) Stir in hot sauce and chopped jalapeno (seeded).
5) Chill for a few hours, overnight is best.
6) To make a drink, add sangria to glass with ice and top with a small dash of club soda.
The Booze Barn
Of course, you can use almost any red wine for this sangria, but since I was trying to make it a bit on the spicy side, I decided to use a spicy red wine. Most malbecs have a little bit of spice to them so I thought it would be a good base.
You can normally find a really good malbec for around $10. I wouldn’t spend more than $14 on a bottle since we are just mixing it with all kinds of other stuff anyway.
Namely, we are mixing it with triple sec and brandy.
Just pour all this stuff together in a large pitcher.
It’ll smell good already.
There’s no doubt that fruit makes the sangria. Choose really ripe and fresh fruit. No matter what, make sure you add in some citrus, but don’t feel like you have to stop there.
I actually wanted to add some diced mango in this version, but I couldn’t find any ripe ones so I just found some other ripe fruit to toss in: plums.
I don’t like to dice my fruit too small for sangria or it will kind of fall apart. For all the citrus, I like to keep the slices pretty big.
Nobody will probably eat the limes and lemons, but the oranges are definitely edible and delicious.
The Hot Stuff
So far we’ve just mixed up a pretty basic sangria. You could stop here and still have a really good thing.
But let’s go a step further. This will give our sangria just a tiny bit of heat!
Be sure to remove the seeds from the jalapeno. It’s not really cool to have a bunch of tiny seeds floating in your sangria. Dice up the jalapeno pretty finely – definitely more fine than the other stuff.
Add all this stuff to your pitcher and toss in a few dashes of hot sauce. It might sound weird to add hot sauce to this, but trust me. It works. You can’t really even taste the stuff but it makes the flavors more complex and gives it a tiny bit of heat.
Most people won’t be able to pick it out as an ingredient, but they’ll love it.
Let this chill for a few hours in the fridge and then serve it over ice with a small bit of club soda.
The flavors in this are pretty concentrated so the club soda just helps to smooth everything out.
The one thing I will note about this sangria is that it isn’t very sweet. This is perfect for me, but if you like your drinks a bit on the sweeter side, I recommend adding in a drizzle of honey or agave nectar.
That should do the trick for your sweet tooth!
Make a big pitcher of this over the weekend and enjoy the nice weather (hopefully).