Sangria is a Spanish red wine punch flavored with fruit and brandy. After its introduction at the 1964 World's Fair in New York, this punch became popular in the U.S. and is often found at parties.
This recipe is for a basic sangria, made with just a little brandy, fruit, and club soda. Sangria is a wonderful party drink. By making up a punch bowl, your guests can serve themselves while you play the host or hostess. A pitcher of sangria on the patio is also a welcome way to enjoy a warm evening with friends.
There are many sangria recipes that vary greatly in the extra flavors that are added to them. Sangria is one of those drinks that is only limited by your imagination. You can even transform this cocktail into a frozen ice pop!
Pre-chill all ingredients (preferably overnight).
Mix the red wine bottles, curaçao, brandy, fruit juices, and simple syrup.
Strain into a chilled punch bowl with an ice block or ring.
Add the club soda.
Garnish with the orange, lemon, and optional peach slices.
Alternatively, you can serve the sangria in a pitcher with ice.
The red wine you choose for sangria might be the traditional Spanish Rioja red wine. This wine is grown in Northern Spain in La Rioja, Navarre, and Alava. These ancient grapes were first documented in 873 and the wine was widely produced in the Middle Ages, especially by monasteries. The varieties used in Rioja wines are usually a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha Tinta, with lesser amounts of Graciano and Mazuelo.
If you don't have a few bottles of Rioja on hand, you might substitute Tempranillo from other locations, such as the U.S. or New Zealand. Of course, you could simply add whatever red wine you choose. Less expensive wines work well as the punch will be doctored significantly.
Likewise, you can use a Spanish brandy such as Brandy de Jerez from southern Spain. This spirit was first distilled by the Moors, who were not allowed to drink wine due to their religious restrictions. They used the alcohol as an antiseptic and to make perfume. Eventually, the Christians started aging the liquid in oak casks to produce brandy.
For the orange liqueur, you can substitute triple sec, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau for curaçao. None of these can boast a Spanish origin, so using less-expensive varieties should do. Just avoid the blue curaçao as it will give a potentially off-putting tint to your sangria.