In our festive south Tempe neighborhood, we drink a lot of sangria and margaritas. Both drinks lend themselves potlucks, barbecues and easy living.
Just last week, the folks across the street invited us over for a birthday party/family get-together. There were grilled meats, roasted veggies, Mexican-style ranch beans, and, of course, a couple pitchers of sangria. It was my contribution to a lovely evening.
The fruit-infused, wine-based cocktail is simple to make and always appreciated. Use only fresh fruits and no syrups, and don't scrimp too much on the wine or liquors as the flavors will come through. $10 wine is fine.
Make a couple pitchers the night before so the fruit can marry with the wine, and let the games begin. My secret to kick red sangria to another level is to drop a few ripe strawberries into the mix. Recipes below. Cheers!
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
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
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 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 to dissolve sugar. 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.
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 confectioners’ 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. Add orange liqueur, gin and sugar 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.