Need a cheap but popular drink you can make in quantity to serve a houseful of guests? Then sangria’s your tipple. This traditional Spanish fruit punch tastes so good that even those who don’t usually like wine will find themselves quaffing it by the pitcher.

If you have a party or a celebration coming up, or even just a barbecue in the backyard with friends, learning how to make sangria will ensure none of your guests go home thirsty.

Cheap and Cheerful

The beauty of sangria is that it is a very accommodating drink. Based around red wine and fruit, it is almost impossible to go wrong when making it as long as you think about the flavours you’re mixing beforehand. Though the recipes below rely predominantly on citrus fruit, this fruit punch will also work with kiwi fruit, peaches, berries, plums and nectarines.

The sweetness and fruitiness of sangria make it a light, refreshing drink that goes well with almost any food. When served in a glass jug or punchbowl, the deep red of the wine and the colourful fruit add an attractive visual note to your table decoration.

Sangria Recipes

The recipes below will show you how to make sangria quickly and easily. When making this drink bear in mind that you don’t need to use expensive wine. In fact, using a costly vintage is just a waste of money as its subtleties will be drowned by the fruit, sugar and liquor.

The type of wine, though, is worth thinking about. Choose a variety that suits your palate. For instance, those who like a smoother, richer drink may choose a merlot as their base wine. Those who like a little more bite may go for a shiraz.

Traditionally, sangria is made, obviously enough, with a Spanish wine like Rioja, but really, any average red wine will do.

Simple Citrus Sangria

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1 orange
  • ½ cup brandy
  • 2 cups ginger ale

Method:

  1. Pour the wine into your serving vessel (a large glass pitcher is ideal).
  2. Cut your citrus fruit into segments.
  3. Squeeze the juice from all three fruits into the wine, then add the squeezed segments themselves to the mixture.
  4. Add the brandy.
  5. Tip in a tray of ice cubes if your guests are clamouring for a drink or, if you have the time, chill for two hours in the fridge.
  6. Immediately before serving add the ginger ale (that way it’ll stay fizzy).

Peachy Sangria

Peaches add a wonderfully aromatic flavour to Sangria. If you want something just a little out of the ordinary, try this peachy Sangria recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 2 ripe, peeled peaches (nectarines work well too)
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup of Cointreau
  • ½ a lime

Method:

  1. Slice the peaches and place them in your serving vessel.
  2. Add the Cointreau and allow to soak for an hour.
  3. Add the red wine.
  4. Slice the apple and the orange and add to the mixture.
  5. Add the juice of half a lime.
  6. Taste for sweetness – if it is too tart stir in a spoon or two of white sugar.
  7. Chill in the fridge.
  8. To add a little fizz, tip in a cup of sparkling mineral water just before serving.

A White Wine Variation

Though sangria is nearly always made with red wine this recipe will please those who religiously drink only white, or who prefer a lighter beverage.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of white wine
  • 3 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cups of ginger ale
  • White sugar

Method:

  1. Pour the wine into your serving vessel.
  2. Slice all the fruit and add to the wine.
  3. Add sugar to taste.
  4. Chill.
  5. Add ginger ale just before serving.

Viva Sangria!

Sangria is a great warm weather drink that’ll get any party up on its feet in no time. Be warned, though, this traditional Spanish drink slips down so easily you might find yourself doing the Flamenco on a tabletop.

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