Well, it appears that Crist was serious a couple weeks back when she said she was just pretending we didn’t have a blog… so, I suppose I’ll just have to soldier on by myself!
(In reality, Crist is currently very busy partaking in back-to-back-to-back long weekend vacations, so she is OBVIOUSLY quite busy. The only absence which will be excused is NEXT week’s long weekend, as that vacation is due to my visit to the great state of South Carolina. Moving on.)
I have come to the conclusion that the most popular and delicious party cocktail of all time is sangria. I can’t remember the exact circumstances under which I originally sought out a recipe for sangria – a Christmas party, maybe? Either way, it was a few years back, and since that inaugural party, this sangria has been the most important ingredient in every single party my husband and I throw. It’s easy to make, it’s REALLY delicious, and it’s pretty darn boozy, but still goes down easy (too easy? I’ll leave that determination to you).
Now, I am not ashamed to admit that when I make this sangria, I typically make a quintuple batch (I refuse to admit how long it took me to come up with the word quintuple)… and there is rarely any left. There may or may not have been instances in which, once the sangria was gone, the party-goers started digging into the drink dispenser to eat the wine-soaked fruit; and you can all say that’s gross now, but you’d be surprised what sounds like a good idea after 4 or 5 glasses of this stuff.
This recipe is great for a big barbecue, or something like a graduation party or rehearsal dinner. You can also make a single batch, and serve it when you’re just having a couple of girlfriends over for dinner one night.
If you’re going to be making large batches of sangria, I would advise that you invest in a large drink dispenser, as there is no pitcher in this world that will hold 4 or 5 batches of this stuff. I have this one (the large size, clearly) from Pottery Barn, but there are tons of options out there, in all price ranges, so just pick up something that suits your taste and your budget.
The Best Sangria You’ll Ever Have
makes about 8 servings
1 bottle dry red wine*
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup triple sec
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 cups ginger ale
1 granny smith apple, diced
1 orange, cut into slices
1 lime, cut into slices
1 lemon, cut into slices
*As far as the wine goes, this is not the time to use that lovely $100 bottle that your great aunt gave you as a wedding gift. You don’t want to use something that you’d never drink on its own, but a decent $7-$8 bottle is more than fine. When I’m making a large batch, I buy a big jug of Carlo Rossi wine (I believe it’s a 4L bottle), which is typically $12-$15, and pour that bad boy right into my drink dispenser. I prefer their Paesano for this.
In my experience, this sangria tastes the best if it’s made the night before you plan to drink it, so all the flavors have time to mingle. However, if you’re not going to be able to fit whatever drink container you’re using into a fridge, I’d just go ahead and make it the day of consumption (so that the orange juice and lemonade concentrate aren’t unrefrigerated for too long).
1.) The night before you plan to drink the sangria, combine the wine, brandy, triple sec, orange juice, and lemonade concentrate in whatever container you’re using, give it a good stir, and refrigerate overnight.
2.) The next morning, add your sliced fruit to the sangria.
3.) Right before serving, add the ginger ale to the sangria, and stir everything up. Serve with lemon and orange slices for garnish, and enjoy!
I literally serve this stuff all year long, and I get asked for the recipe every single time someone tastes it for the first time. Everyone seems to love it, even the men (though they tend to decline the decorative orange slice on the edge of their glass), and it suits wine-drinkers and liquor-drinkers alike. I’m already excited for the next party we’re having, just so I can serve it!
It’s like the jungle juice you remember from college, but way classier,